MSU students, faculty, staff and local community members:
Thank you for your willingness to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Sally. When a disaster happens, it can take months and even years for communities to rebuild. To make the most of your efforts to help, consider these tips for donating and volunteering:
Be patient and be safe. Do not self-deploy into a disaster area. We know you want to help in any way possible, but you must wait until first responders announce that the affected area is safe to enter and that volunteer opportunities have been identified.
Sign up before you show up to volunteer. If you can volunteer, make sure to find an organization active in disaster recovery and sign up directly with that organization. Capacity is stretched very thin during disasters, and you need to make sure that you can be utilized. You can view a list of organizations accepting volunteers in times of disaster on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website (NVOAD) at https://www.nvoad.org.
Donate cash. What most communities need is money, not things. A cash donation to a recognized national nonprofit or a disaster relief organization is the most effective donation you can make because it offers the most flexibility in getting the most-needed resources. If you donate goods, organizations will have to spend time, money and volunteer power to sort and store donations. This can be problematic, especially when storage facilities are sometimes being used as shelters. For a list of major nonprofits active in disaster relief, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster's website at https://www.nvoad.org/voad-members/national-members. To obtain more specific information about disaster relief organizations in the affected area, view the affected State's Emergency Management website.
If you would like to support MSU students who have been affected by Hurricane Sally, you can consider making a donation to the MSU Student Relief Fund. The MSU Student Relief Fund is built with private gifts and is designed to help those members of the student body affected with day-to-day crises or displaced by catastrophic disasters such as Hurricane Sally. You can donate and view more information at http://www.msufoundation.com/studentrelief.
For more information and additional ways to help those affected, visit the Federal Emergency Management Website (FEMA) at https://www.fema.gov or download the FEMA app at https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app, the Mississippi State University Extension Website at http://extension.msstate.edu/community/disaster-preparedness, or contact the Maroon Volunteer Center at 662-325-2150. If you are a student at MSU and need assistance, contact the Dean of Students' office at 662-325-3611.