Orange County officials are receiving citizen and community inquires regarding Hurricane IKE. The calls primarily involve citizens who want to offer assistance or make donations to Hurricane IKE victims. It is important that such good intentions do not create the potential for a disaster within a disaster. Therefore people who wish to offer assistance should do so in as effective a manner as possible.

Individuals or organizations that want to provide assistance to victims of hurricane IKE should first work through their local disaster relief organizations. These may include the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the Texas Baptist Men Feeding Organization, the Adventist Community Services, the Second Harvest Food Banks, etc. People can find these organizations listed in the Telephone Book Yellow Pages under “Social Service Organizations.”

Cash is the best contribution since items can be purchased within the affected areas to meet the specific needs of victims. To contribute cash, contributions should be sent to the Orange Chapter of the American Red Cross.

If people prefer to donate goods or service, they should still work through their local disaster relief organizations. These organizations know the immediate needs of people in the affected areas, how best to meet those needs, and how to ensure assistance is appropriate, adequate, and delivered to the right places. The disaster relief organizations can tell potential donors what is needed and what is not needed and how to package and transport those goods that are needed to the disaster area. 

People are encouraged not to send unsolicited donations to the disaster area. Unsolicited donations may not reach the proper people or even would meet their current needs. If donors plan to travel to the disaster area, they may find that lodging and other services are unavailable and they may add to problems in the disaster area rather than helping.