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What Do Disaster Relief Organizations Actually Do on the Ground

Disaster Relief in Action | Brother's Brother Foundation

Whenever disaster strikes, disaster relief organizations like Brother’s Brother Foundation spring into action to help those in need. But if you’ve never actually seen disaster relief in action, you might not fully understand what organizations like ours do on the ground. We want to change that.

Disaster relief organizations do all sorts of things. No two organizations are exactly alike, so our efforts vary based on resources, available volunteers, areas of specialty, etc. In addition, some organizations are particularly good at gathering resources while others are better at taking those resources and putting them in play where they are most needed. It is a joint effort for sure.

How Disaster Relief Organizations Help

Disaster relief takes many forms based on the damage left behind in the wake of the particular event being responded to. That being the case, there are some types of relief efforts that are pretty common to most natural disasters. Here are just a few examples and how BBF responds:

  • Food and Water – Perhaps the most immediate need in the aftermath of a hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disaster is food and water. Damage to infrastructure can compromise the safety of drinking water and inhibit access to grocery stores. BBF frequently sends pallets of bottled water to assist in areas of disaster and provides grants to local food pantries.
  • Shelter Assistance – Disaster relief organizations typically help with shelter, at least in the short term. Yet there are some that assist disaster victims in their search for permanent housing. Many of our shipments include tarps that can be used to assist in temporary shelter, and we also provide grants to other community organizations on the ground.
  • Medical Assistance – The need for medical assistance is more profound in some cases than others. Between emergency medical response and long-term medical care, disaster relief organizations pitch in to help as they can. Recently, BBF helped fund mobile health clinics to reach rural areas and provided ongoing, long-term support including grants to fund mental health programs for those who lost their home and/or entire community.

BBF’s Disaster Response Program also assists in additional areas, including sanitation, cleanup and restoration, and rehab. The thing to remember is that every disaster looks different. Every disaster leaves a unique and indelible mark on the places it affects. It is up to organizations like ours to find out what is needed in any given situation and do what we can to meet that need.

Multiple Organizations Working Together

We should probably point out that no disaster relief organization can do everything on its own. Whether it’s earthquake relief, collecting relief donations, or responding with truckloads of food and water, getting people the help they need requires a combined effort among multiple organizations and volunteers.

In addition, organizations like Brother’s Brother Foundation often work hand-in-hand with government entities. We work with federal, state, and local agencies to enhance and supplement their efforts. They rely on us to provide additional services they may not be equipped to handle.

Other organizations may supply volunteers for labor, specialized skills, and even material supplies. Between all of us, disaster relief efforts are coordinated in such a way as to have the most positive impact in the shortest amount of time.

We Are Counting on You

We hope you now have a better understanding of what disaster relief organizations actually do on the ground. We want to leave you with this thought: organizations like ours are counting on you to get involved. When all is said and done, the success of our efforts relies on the willingness of everyone to contribute. 

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