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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. 

Donate Cash or Volunteer to Help Disaster Survivors

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’s used for surgeries, after accidents and disasters, and for other medical reasons. 

Where and How to Donate Blood

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 a first-time blood donor, make sure you confirm your appointment with the organization where you’re donating blood. Ask them:

The government monitors all blood supplies to ensure your safety as a blood donor or a transfusion recipient. Learn more about blood monitoring for safety.

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Last Updated: August 15, 2019