Earthquakes, floods, epidemics, mass dislocations: the scale of human suffering caused by disasters prompts many of us to ask, “How can I help?” When disasters strike, here’s how to help communities respond and build back better for long-term resilience.

All disasters prompt many of us to want to “do something.” But different crises bring different needs.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy categorizes catastrophes into three types: Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (think Syrian refugees), Natural Disasters (Nepal earthquake), and Man-made (Flint water crisis). And, the only thing for certain is that the needs not only vary by crisis, but are continuously changing. What’s more, there are different phases of relief.

While media and donor attention is highest early on, needs remain long after the camera crews are gone.

You can find more information about disaster philanthropy at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy.