BBB gives tips on giving to help hurricane victims

The Better Business Bureau and BBB Wise Giving Alliance are offering tips about giving assistance in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma:
• Verify the trustworthiness of soliciting relief.
• Check the charity’s website if it has an on-the-ground presence in the affected areas. Unless the charity already has staff in those areas, it may be difficult to bring in new aid workers to provide assistance quickly.
• Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups. Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations.
• Be cautious about gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations. In-kind drives for food and clothing, while well intentioned, may not necessarily be the quickest way to help those in need.
• Understand crowdfunding. Some crowdfunding sites do little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a disaster
• Understand the phases of disaster relief. Every disaster has several phases – rescue, emergency relief and recovery. Each part relies on public support and continuing funding for success.
• Keep in mind recovery will be a long-term activity that could take months or even years. Those helping communities bounce back will have many opportunities to help.
Report suspected scams to bbb.org/scamtracker.

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