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Disaster Assistance Information for Tornado and Flood ravaged Southeast United States

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May/03/2011

The Florida Hospital Association (FHA), in response to the devastation from last week’s tornadoes and flooding across the Southeastern U.S., is searching for opportunities for members of the health care community to make donations to the on-going relief and recovery efforts of our neighboring states. There are many ways for people to donate money, goods and services through local faith-based and community initiatives. FHA would like to share information from larger, charitable organizations actively participating in the current response efforts. Information on how you can help is provided below:

The American Red Cross The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org. The American Red Cross continues its 24/7 relief efforts in the tornado-ravaged South and is closely watching rising rivers in the Midwest following more storms there. The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to help people affected by the tornadoes impacting Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS, and people can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Salvation Army The Salvation Army has been supporting those in need without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org. The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate their gift "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak." Checks may be made out to: The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box100339, Atlanta, GA 30384-0339. At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted outside the disaster area. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK. Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams are actively responding to the deadly tornadoes which have ravaged much of the southeastern United States over the last two days. To date, at least 272 lives have been lost while many more have suffered injuries and face catastrophic property damage. Hundreds of thousands are currently without electricity. Currently, EDS personnel are providing food, beverages, and emotional/spiritual care to storm victims in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia. Additional resources, such as clean-up kits, are being made available as needed in a number of areas. Additional Salvation Army EDS personnel and mobile feeding units currently on standby in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland and West Virginia, Florida, and Texas will be deployed as needed.

AmeriCares AmeriCares is a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs – and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs – for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion. In times of epic disaster, daily struggle or civil conflict, AmeriCares restores health and saves lives by delivering donated medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to people in need around the world and here at home. AmeriCares has launched an immediate response. "We are preparing a shipment of chronic care medicines, as well as other critical supplies to meet expressed needs,” explained Ella Gudwin, VP of Emergency Response at AmeriCares. Partnering with Feeding America and Nestle Water North America, AmeriCares is readying four truckloads of hygiene items and another 256,000 bottles of water, and is actively building a list of crucial medical aid and supplies. AmeriCares is working to supply health care providers with the medicines they need to restock for patients who have lost their homes in Tuscaloosa, Cullman, and Birmingham -- areas which endured massive destruction. There are many ways to make a charitable contribution to a non-profit organization and receive a tax deduction. Individuals and businesses may claim charitable tax donations, tax credit donations or tax deduction for charitable giving. AmeriCares sends official charity tax receipts to make it easier for people and companies deducting charitable donations. You can also feel confident about your tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit charity efforts; AmeriCares Foundation has received high ratings on charitable organization rankings. With the help of people like you, AmeriCares save lives and restores health here at home in the United States and around the world.

Learn more about how you, your company or your foundation can help:

State of Alabama Volunteer HotlineFrom Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s Office, April 30, 2011- The volunteer and donations response in the wake of the April 27 deadly tornado outbreak in the state of Alabama has been tremendous. Governor Robert Bentley encourages volunteers to use Alabama’s Statewide 2-1-1 Volunteer Call Center.

Alabama’s Statewide 2-1-1 Volunteer Call Center is a 24/7 volunteer and donations hotline that provides an opportunity for people to connect to available volunteer and donation options. By calling 2-1-1 (in the state of Alabama or toll free 1-888-421-1266) or visiting www.servealabama.gov, individuals can register to volunteer or provide a financial donation to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund.

All volunteers not affiliated with an organization should register with 2-1-1. Once registered, volunteers will receive notifications of volunteer opportunities across the state.

  • To Register to Volunteer call 2-1-1 (in-state) or1-888-421-1266 (out-of-state) or via the website www.servealabama.gov
  • Donations to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund can be made at www.servealabama.gov or by calling 2-1-1
  • For a list of Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs) in Alabama please visit www.servealabama.gov

The Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) is overseeing the statewide volunteer response effort and has the following suggestions for volunteers wanting to help.

  1. Financial Contributions are Preferred: This allows relief organizations to purchase exactly what items are needed to assist in the response and recovery efforts. Funds will also provide direct victim assistance.
  2. Confirm the Need Before Collecting: Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.” Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to sort and dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or used clothing. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or used clothing.
  3. Volunteer Wisely to Help Others: In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. The best way to volunteer if you are not affiliated with an organization is to call 2-1-1 in Alabama, toll free 1-888-421-1266, or www.servealabama.gov. In local areas you can visit your regional Volunteer Reception Center. A list of VRC's is available on www.servealabama.gov. Discuss with volunteer organizers how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering. As more information is available related to volunteer efforts, charitable donations and other relief efforts, FHA will share this information with Florida’s health care community members.

Thank you for your support! For more information, please contact John Wilgis, Director/Emergency Management Services at 407-841-6230. If you are having trouble viewing this e-mail, please contact the FHA IT Help Desk at (407) 841-6230.

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