Here are four ways your company can emerge as a source of strength for people in the path of Hurricane Florence and other menacing storms this season:

1. Determine what type of disaster relief efforts your company will support, proactively if possible. When a major disaster strikes, will your company support immediate relief, long-term recovery efforts, or a combination of the two? The United Nations estimates that five times more is spent on disaster response rather than reduction. Yet, for every $1 invested in disaster preparedness, $7 is saved in disaster recovery costs.

2. Build your strategy around your company’s core competencies. There are many worthy disaster response efforts that companies can choose to support, but without focus and alignment around what your business already does well, your disaster response efforts may be less effective. Chances are, your company has developed strengths, research, and knowledge in a specific area. Support a disaster response strategy that aligns with that expertise to potentially save lives or lighten the burden of a disaster on the most vulnerable families.

3. Make cash donations or grants to established, vetted organizations to get help where it’s needed safely and quickly. In the difficult and chaotic days, weeks, and months that follow a disaster, remember sending a cash donation or grant to a vetted organization is the likely the best way to get help where it’s needed—safely, quickly, and efficiently. Unless your company already has a well-oiled logistics and delivery network, like Coca Cola or Walmart, sending in-kind donations to affected communities may actually slow down relief efforts.

4. Seek partnerships with well-networked intermediaries. The critical hours, days, and weeks that follow a disaster are no time to reinvent the wheel. Rather than strike out on your own, seek out knowledgeable and responsible intermediaries as partners in disaster recovery.

Read the full article about how companies can make an impact at Global Giving.