At a moment like this, the first question for many is “How can I help?” For donors who want to make a difference, here’s what you need to know.

Resist the impulse to give items; giving money can have more impact.
Many people are moved to send items such as food, clothes, or blankets to affected areas. While well-intentioned, such donations frequently don’t match what is actually needed and can risk taxing precious logistics and storage capacity.

Think large and small organizations.
Large, often national or international, organizations can tap into networks and supply chains that allow them to bring resources quickly and at high volume. For example, Save the Children is on the ground responding to the needs of children and their families by providing shelters with portable cribs, strollers and hygiene supplies for children. They also opened their first child-friendly space on Monday, and plan to open more in the coming days. Americares’ response team on is connecting with local health centers, free clinics and other responders in Texas to identify needs. They are performing emergency deliveries of water and medication and developing plans to provide ongoing access to medicine, relief supplies, and basic health care for those affected.

Consider giving beyond the first stage of this disaster.

Right now, and until the rain and flooding stops, attention is focused on search and rescue, and addressing the immediate needs and security of survivors. After these immediate, basic needs are met, the people of Texas will need continued support to rebuild and recover.

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