Responding To Disaster Relief

When you turn on the news, it’s easy to learn more about the many natural disasters that have occurred in the last year. From hurricanes to severe thunderstorms, natural disasters have left many areas of the country wrecked and in need of assistance.

Contractors are in great demand when disaster strikes, not just to help with clean up but to help neighborhoods rebuild. If you live near an area that’s gone through a natural disaster or a pro who’s willing to help, here are a few ways you can use your skills for good.

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Register With The Government

If you live near the area where disaster has struck, it might be your first instinct to help your neighbors get back on their feet again. But before you offer your services, you want to make sure you’re in compliance with the law. According to the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency act established in 1988, FEMA will first select contractors in the region before looking out of the area for assistance. Because disaster can happen anywhere, it’s a good idea to take the steps needed if an event were to occur.

If you’re a contractor wanting to respond to a disaster relief situation, you’ll want to register with the System for Award Management, or SAM. According To FEMA, this is how they locate contractors for relief programs and will ensure you get paid for your work.

There’s no fee to register with SAM and it’s the only way you can sign up to do business with the U.S. government. You’ll need to have your business name, a DUNS number and your tax identification number on hand to fill out the SAM registration.

Once you have your SAM registration, head over to the Federal Business Opportunities website to see what opportunities are available in the area you wish to service.

Volunteering

Of course, there are other ways you can get involved. Many people feel passionate about helping to restore an area that’s been hit by a natural disaster. To experience that kind of devastation and then try to get back on your feet is certainly a challenge for everyone involved. Volunteering your time and skills is one way you can give back and do your part to help make the world a better place.

While it depends on the area, there are ways you can stay up-to-date on where your help is most needed. Here are a few helpful resources:

Proceeds & Donations

If you’ve been thinking about how you can help disaster relief, but are far from the area, consider giving in two ways. You may have to get creative, but you’ll be using your business for good and building relationships in your community.

One way is to help collect or donate goods to the impacted area. You may want to partner with a local school, church or other organization. As a contractor, a way to give back that you might find interesting is through tools. ToolBank USA is an organization that lets disaster responders borrow the tools they need at a significantly lower cost. According to their website, this helps engage more volunteers, increase impact and reduce costs. ToolBank locations are all over and are looking for donations to ensure they have the most up-to-date products in their warehouse. This could be one organization you could donate too, or even see what it takes to start one in your area.

You can also partner with one of the above organizations to help raise money to go directly to disaster relief. A promotion for your business could include a certain amount of proceeds from your business go towards a disaster relief charity.

Why Give Back?

When a disaster strikes, it’s not hard to find those who want to volunteer and help an area get back on their feet. Especially if a natural disaster impacts your area, you may feel more inclined to give of your time and skill to help your neighbors rebuild. Not only will you invest in your community, but you can help grow your skillset and even network with other neighbors you may not know. Your skills are valuable, especially in a time of crisis. You can be there to help others in a very rewarding way that many others don’t have the ability to do.

Conclusion

There is no shortage of ways you can help in an area that’s been impacted by a natural disaster. Be ready to help by keeping a few of these tips in mind on how you can get involved.

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