The tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday resulted in loss of life and heart-wrenching devastation. Many people across the U.S. are asking how to help. Julie Swann, co-director of the Humanitarian Logistics Center at Georgia Tech, explains what is the best way to reach those in need.
One thing that everyone should keep in mind is that, in general, it is not a good idea to try to send supplies and resources directly. Sometimes non-profits call this the “second disaster” because the flood of well-intended items ultimately clogs the logistics, supply chain and delivery, preventing more effective or efficient means. The best thing one can do to help in most cases is to donate to organizations that are working directly in the area, such as the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and others. Let these organizations do what they know best about getting people what they need. After Superstorm Sandy, an interesting approach came about using a matching process similar to a wedding registry, where people posted what they needed and others signed up to deliver it. But I have not seen if that particular organization will be starting up in Oklahoma yet.
Photo credit: Oklahoma National Guard
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