Experts also say donating to these organizations makes sense because they know the terrain having worked on previous disasters in the countries, often have local partners and are going to be around over the long haul. In large-scale disasters, Tierney says, “it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for people to be parachuting in for a couple of months.”
She says that’s what happened after the 2010 Haiti earthquake when small groups traveled to the impoverished nation to construct new housing and sometimes made things worse by building in areas at high risk for future flooding or other weather calamities. “When people aren’t aware of the local customs and local risks they can make tremendous mistakes,” she says.
Where to go: Red Cross: www.redcross.org World Vision: www.worldvision.org CARE: www.care.org Natural Hazards Center: www.colorado.edu/hazards