FRANKFORT, KY. (May 23, 2013) – Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) officials are learning that officials in Moore, OK are becoming overwhelmed with unneeded donations and self deployed volunteers.
Jim Garrett, KYEM’s Volunteer and Donation Services Coordinator, who works closely with the National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (NVOAD) organization; http://www.nvoad.org/ , has been participating in daily donations conference calls with federal and OK officials, and reports that relief officials are becoming overwhelmed by unneeded donations and self deployed volunteers. Garrett stated, “Donations and volunteers often become a burden when a disaster occurs. Mountains of used clothes and unneeded perishable food have to be dealt with, and that distracts from the recovery effort and creates additional costs.”
Garret also said volunteers who just show up create additional issues for recovery officials, “Most well meaning, self deployed volunteers don’t realize how difficult logistics can be in an impacted area when they show up unannounced and unprepared. Lodging, food, equipment and assignments need to be coordinated through the proper channels.”
Mr. Garrett concluded, “The best form of disaster donation is cash through a reputable and recognized organization, many which can be found athttp://kyem.ky.gov/donationsvolunteers/Pages/default.aspx .”
Oklahoma officials will be standing up volunteer reception centers, which are expected to be open by Saturday. The locations will be listed on their website along with additional information and updates, at http://www.cityofmoore.com/2013-tornado-relief .
Additional information, including relief organizations can also be found at http://www.cidi.org .