Volunteers can best help victims and responders by working with an experienced disaster relief agency. Organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army provide volunteers with many hours of disaster relief training before a disaster happens. The best way for you to help is to become a trained volunteer with one of these organizations. You can also search for disaster relief volunteer opportunities using Connect & Serve, the Commonwealth's statewide volunteer website.


In the event of a disaster, the best donation is cash. It is easily received, transported and distributed. Cash also helps a local community restart its economy. In-kind clothing donations are best when they come from companies that can provide new items in quantities to meet the mass-care needs of victims. Unsolicited, spontaneous donations of clothing from individuals and community groups, although given with good intentions, have hidden costs and pose a number of complications for initial relief efforts. For this reason, sending or delivering used clothing to a disaster area is not recommended. For more information, refer to our guidelines for making effective donations to individuals and charitable organizations.