The Long Road to Recovery: When and How Your Products Can Help Communities Faced with Disasters
Mom and Daughter affected by disaster
To communities involved in disaster, it's a long road to recovery. In Joplin, Mo. it is estimated that it will take up to six years to replace the thousands of homes, ten schools, and 22 social service agencies that were demolished. More and more, corporate donors and civic groups are motivated to give during dire times, when media attention is at its peak and emotions run high. However, most donated products will play a critical role in the later stages of disaster relief, when communities are recovering and rebuilding.
Product donations are a key component in assisting those who are struggling from natural or man-made disasters—early on and certainly years later as they rebuild their communities. However, it is important to recognize that the timing of distribution is critical and needs vary for every disaster. According to emergency relief officials, during the recent calamities in Joplin, large quantities of unsolicited in-kind product sent from well-intentioned donors sat, perishing in trucks with no place to go. While well intended, poorly timed donations waste considerable resources.
Properly staged, well-coordinated donations, however, are integral to helping individuals and communities as they recover and rebuild. Following the recent tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest, Good360 reached out to its partners on the ground to determine both the immediate and long-term needs and the appropriate timing. “The need is overwhelming. We have been unable to keep up with the demand of these needed items to help supply families who lost everything in the tornadoes and floods,” said a Good360 nonprofit partner in Saltillo, Mo. Products that are typically needed in times of disaster and in large quantities include: personal care (soap, hand-sanitizer, toiletries); paper products (paper towels, toilet paper); household goods (bedding, towels); cleaning supplies; and other items such as diapers/wipes, clothing, shoes, tarps, tents, flashlights, and batteries.