Help Survivors of a Disaster

Learn how you can volunteer, donate, and support disaster survivors.

Help Survivors of a Natural Disaster

After a disaster, many people want to volunteer their services or donate money or goods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides information and tips on volunteering and donating responsibly after a natural disaster.  

Do not just "show up" to volunteer assistance. This actually makes things harder for responders. The following groups and organizations provide information on helping survivors of natural disasters:

Charity Scams

Make sure your donations are going to the people that need help. Learn how to spot Hurricane scams.

If you suspect you've encountered disaster fraud report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, emails can be sent to, and information can be faxed to (225) 334-4707.

FEMA Hiring Temporary Workers 

FEMA is currently hiring temporary workers in several locations across the United States and Puerto Rico to support hurricane response and recovery efforts. Find a list of available positions and how to apply.

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Donate Blood

Donating blood is a simple way to help save a life.

Where You Can Donate

The American Red Cross and the United Blood Services are nationwide organizations that manage blood donations. They are not part of the federal government.

The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) is the official blood program for the U.S. military. It is part of the federal government. Most blood products are for ill or injured service members, veterans, and military families worldwide.

Register to Donate


If you're a first time donor, let the organization know when you make your appointment and ask:

  • If there is something you need to do ahead of time to prepare.
  • What are some of the potential adverse reactions to the procedure?
  • Visit this First Time Donors guide from the American Red Cross for more answers. 


The government monitors blood and blood products to make sure blood is handled properly and that you're safe as a donor or as a transfusion recipient. Learn more about blood monitoring for safety.

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Last Updated: April 23, 2018