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FEMA_logo_nyreblog_com_.gifCash Donations Are the Quickest and Best Way to Help Disaster Survivors 

When a disaster strikes, people often want to help the survivors by donating goods as well as volunteer time. They know it's not easy to get back to a normal life. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) say the quickest and best way to help individuals who are affected is by writing a check. 

That advice was shared by Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. Cash donations allow voluntary organizations to buy both goods and services locally or to direct financial assistance to victims so they can meet their most urgent needs. Cash donations also allow agencies to avoid the labor-intensive activity it takes to clean, sort, package, label and store donated goods. There is also the expense of getting goods into the hands of survivors using air, sea or truck transport.

"If you would like to help our citizens recover from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, you can do so most effectively by making a cash contribution to any charitable organization," said Commonwealth Coordinating Officer, John Forr. "By donating directly to a charity that reaches survivors locally, you will ensure your contribution will be used to purchase only the things that are really needed by our disaster survivors." 

The quickest and best way to make a cash donation is by contacting the local voluntary agency of your choice in your community.

If you know someone who had damage from Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee they should call

1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 directly to register for federal disaster aid. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), the number to call is 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. They can also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by smart phone or tablet at m.fema.gov . Anyone who has a disability and needs help registering, should not hesitate to contact FEMA to ask for help.