Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Many volunteer organizations in the Midlands have sent relief and helping hands to Texas for hurricane Harvey recovery, but now hurricane Irma can be a big threat to the Palmetto State.
So, organizations like the St. Bernard Project (SBP), Harvest Hope Food Bank and the United Way have been working to designate resources for both hurricanes.
"The more prepared you are, the faster the recovery process will be," says Amanda Gallina, volunteer & development manager for SBP.
"We have been collecting things like personal hygiene items, diapers, wipes, pop-top cans, things of that nature," says Sara Fawcett, CEO of United Way of the Midlands.
Fawcett says they are sending supplies for Harvey relief, but hurricane Irma efforts are still up in the air. Currently they are working with state agencies to determine what's needed.
"It could be anything from people who are needed emergency help again, donations," says Fawcett. "It could mean we need volunteers to muck out homes again. we hope not, but as we get closer, we will be able to let everyone know what kind of help they can give."
More information on volunteering with United Way of the Midlands can be found here.
The SBP wants homeowners to be educated about what could come after a natural disaster.
"So on our website we have homeowner resource guides and in these guides you'll find ways to navigate FEMA. Ways to navigate insurance funding," says Gallina. "Tons of documents online about mold remediation and finally how to avoid contractor fraud."
When it comes to donations, Harvest Hope Food Bank is ready to shift their donations to South Carolina.
"Until, if and when, hurricane Irma hits South Carolina, that is when the donations for disaster relief would be used for South Carolina and they would no longer go towards Harvey," says Meaghan Norman, spokeswoman for Harvest Hope. "Whenever there is an impending need here, that is when the donations will be directed to South Carolina, but until that happens, the disaster relief donations will be targeted towards hurricane Harvey relief efforts."
For people donating food to to Harvest Hope, those donations can be designated specifically for hurricane Harvey or hurricane Irma relief efforts.
You can find more information on how you can donate here. Organizations are looking for monetary donations or nonperishable food items.
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