Like a Good Neighbor The Disaster Network is There

| November 13, 2002

Like a Good Neighbor, The Disaster Network is There

When disaster strikes close to home, many people feel compelled to help by sending food and clothing or by showing up in person to provide assistance, but the Disaster News Network has a message for them: stay home and send money. Of course, saying that in a nice way isn't always easy.

The Disaster News Network (DNN) is nonprofit online news service that covers disasters from the day they happen until the last volunteer team leaves the scene. They get the story out to the public and serve as the eyes and ears of professional responders, writes Jason Zasky of Failure magazine. They've seen first-hand how people who just want to help can end up doing more harm than good. DNN officials say many people with good intentions send an overabundance of unneeded items that have to be stored and redistribute and suggest that people who really want to help should send money to one of the disaster response organizations. A list of the most efficient and effective organizations can be found on DNN's Web site.

If people feel a need to do more than send money, they can show up and volunteer, but they should wait a couple of months. By that time all of the volunteers who flocked to the scene of the disaster will have gone home and there will be more than enough work to do.
--Nick Garafola
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