Help Survivors of a Disaster

Learn how you can volunteer for disaster relief organizations, donate blood, and avoid charity fraud when giving money to support disaster survivors.

Help Survivors of a Natural Disaster

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

Do not just "show up" to volunteer assistance. This actually makes things harder for responders. Instead, learn how you can help after a disaster through the following groups and organizations:

Avoid Charity Fraud

Make sure your donations are going to the people who need help. Learn how to avoid a charity scam after a natural disaster.

If you suspect you've encountered disaster fraud, report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.

Donate Blood

Blood donation is a simple way to help save a life. It can be given to someone who needs a blood transfusion during surgery, after an accident, or for other medical reasons. 

Where to Donate Blood for Disaster Survivors and How to Register

The American Red Cross and the United Blood Services are national organizations that manage blood donations. They are not part of the federal government. To schedule an appointment:

The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) is the official blood donation program for the U.S. military. Most blood products are for ill or injured service members, veterans, and military families worldwide. To make an appointment:

  • See the ASBP website for a list of military blood donor centers. Civilians can only donate blood at an ASBP blood donor center on a military installation.

Tips for a First Time Blood Donor

If you're donating blood for the first time, let the organization know when you make your appointment and keep these things in mind:

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: February 27, 2019