AUSTIN, Texas – Media can greatly assist relief efforts in states struck by tornadoes if they let the public know that the most effective way to help is to make cash donations to known organizations.

Here’s why:

• Cash donations minimize problems involved in transportation and delivery of donated items. 

This is especially true where roads and bridges have been destroyed or blocked with debris.

• Warehouses and infrastructure in the affected area may have been wiped out.

It takes a great deal of effort to set up receiving areas, as well as to store or protect material donations from additional storms.

• Disaster workers need to focus on their efforts to help survivors – not taking time away from survivors to sort and track material donations like used clothing and household goods.

• Cash donations provide flexibility to help victims of disasters in situations that may be changing rapidly.

• It’s always best to donate to a well known organization or one you already know about.

People wishing to help in the wake of the Joplin tornado can check these websites:

www.aidmatrix.org/fema and click on “Missouri” for links to voluntary agencies helping on the ground.

www.fema.gov/rebuild/recover/howtohelp.shtm.

Member organizations of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for Texas can be reached at: www.texasvoad.org

The national VOAD site is: www.nvoad.org.