If Disaster Hit, Would Your Local Community be Prepared?

It’s true that Americans pay taxes to help safety net programs which provide assistance with HUD, SNAP (food stamps), WIC, School lunches and several others, but these dollars are distributed nationwide.

If you give directly to your local organizations, you are putting money into the local community associations right where you live. Many times local organizations respond quicker to the immediate needs in their area, they may be the first support that enhances your community's well-being. They depend on funding from private donations.

Organizations like The Salvation Army provide disaster relief through mobile feeding kitchens, clean-up kits, clothing vouchers and shelter for the homeless in a crisis. Just a month ago, parts of South Carolina were devastated by historic flooding.  The Salvation Army of Georgia aided flood victims with five of their 23 Georgia Division mobile canteens. They assisted with mass feeding and hydration services. They served first responders, utility workers, volunteers and those affected by the flooding.  Giving to organizations in your local community"provides important local safety nets that guarantee vital assistance during crisis and emergencies as well.  You never know when a disaster is right around the corner.

As recently as '09, the 500-yr floods affected several counties throughout northern Georgia causing 20,000 homes and businesses to suffer major damage. Federal disaster declarations were issued to 46 counties because of a Spring floods in Southern Georgia in ’09 as well. In '07 the largest and most devastating wildfires in Georgia's history occurred, and in the last half-century, more than 1,450 tornadoes were reported in Georgia.

Natural disasters aren't the only threat. The Terrorist attacks which targeted Paris remind us all that no one is immune. The '96 Olympics, where a bombing occurred at Centennial Olympic Park in Georgia, killed four and injured 111.

Yes, your tax dollars for federal funding helps, but it is organizations in your local area who step up immediately. They provide the relief you need when a wildfire, tornado, storm or terrorist attack plagues your community.

Places like Nicholas House and HomeAid Atlanta can help families achieve self-sufficiency again. According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA) more than 75,000 Georgians were homeless at some time during the year.  Can you imagine how those numbers would jump to if a natural disaster or attack occurred?

Help your local community be prepared by donating to the organizations who are intent on helping you and your neighbors.

It's easy to do and literally costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time. It's called the Giv360 app. It's Free to Use and Free to Get. Start giving to your favorite non-profit simply by frequenting the places you already shop and up to 5% of your purchase could go directly to your favorite Georgia charity.

You'll be able to help those in your local community when they need help. Who knows? Your helping hand may be the very hand needing help one day.