Sandy’s Aftermath: How to Help

Humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are looking for volunteers and donations.

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Members of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) help residents make their way to dry ground on Hylan Boulevard in the Staten Island borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.

The massive Superstorm Sandy left a trail of destruction across much of the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern states — and recovering from the estimated $60 billion disaster will be an arduous task that includes salvaging and repairing flooded neighborhoods, electricity outages, and paralyzed public transit systems.

Many nonprofit organizations have launched rescue missions; they are now asking for volunteers and donations to help sustain their efforts.

The superstorm forced the Red Cross to cancel nearly 300 blood drives. More cancellations are expected as the storm moves westward, the organization says. To help the Red Cross replenish its blood bank, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED-CROSS. To donate money, you can contribute $10 by texting the word “Redcross” to 90999.

The Red Cross is also looking for volunteers to staff its shelters. More than 11,000 people are living in its shelters across 16 states, and number is expected to rise, the organization says. Call 800-RED-CROSS to volunteer at the shelter nearest to you.

The Salvation Army is sending hygiene kits, first aid supplies and mobile feeding units to storm victims. It encourages people to text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. They can also donate by visiting the website or calling 800-SAL-ARMY.

Citymeals-on-Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver meals in New York. Visit the website or call 212-687-1234 for more information.

Samaritan’s Purse is calling for volunteers to help remove debris and clean up mud. Visit the website for more information.

Save the Children has sent emergency teams to assist children and families. Click here to donate.

World Vision is providing emergency food and flood clean-up kits. To donate, visit here.

The Humane Society of the United States and American Humane association are rescuing and providing shelters for animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has set up 4,000 shelter units in New York with water rescue units on call. All three organizations are seeking donations.

If you plan to donate to any nonprofit, it’s always a good idea to check the organization’s authenticity first. CNN recommends using charity evaluators like Guidestar and Charity Navigator to verify that the group you’re donating to is established and that your funds will go where you intend.

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