During a large emergency, help will be needed from across the community and across the country. 

This help with include not only financial donations, but also volunteer manpower.

Give money

Donating money, rather than items you have around your house, is much more helpful to relief organizations and disaster survivors. Unless they’ve made specific item requests, your money will be much more useful to them. In fact, donations of unneeded or unusable items often becomes another task for local governments and relief organizations to deal with that takes efforts away from the disaster.

Raise money

Another way to help disaster victims is to fundraise. It’s a great way to get involved if you are unable to volunteer your time. The federal government does not cover all costs associated with disasters, particularly to individuals. Start a campaign in your community to help those affected.


If you’re able to travel to the affected area, that’s great—but do not show up unannounced. Reach out to a relief organization before showing up on the site. One of the biggest problems that occurs after disasters is an influx of untrained volunteers. This only adds to the chaos and affects overall response capabilities.

Keep helping

It’s easy about a disaster once it leaves the news headlines. Disasters take months, sometimes years, to recover from, and there are always ways you can help. Keep raising money, keep donating, keep volunteering.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides more detailed information on donating responsibly.

Although there are currently no large emergencies in San Luis Obispo county, non-profit organizations still need your help.  These organizations are ready to respond to emergencies big and small every day in San Luis Obispo and across the country.   

The American Red Cross is always seeking volunteers.