Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.
Matching donations with need after natural disasters
Share Now on:
On Monday, a tornado with wind speeds above 200 miles per hour destroyed whole blocks in suburbs outside of the state’s capital, Oklahoma City. Officials say at least 24 people are dead.
A massive recovery and relief effort including volunteers and donors from outside the Sooner State, began almost immediately.
Hours after the tornado touched down, Will Cleaver was on the road, driving a trailer full of supplies from Kansas City to Oklahoma. He is a cofounder of a group called Operation BBQ Relief, a nonprofit that prepares food after disasters like this one, including the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo.
“With the number of teams and volunteers we had show up, we were able to do 110,000 meals down there,” he says.
Operation BBQ Relief is one of many smaller volunteer organizations helping out in Moore, Okla. Bigger organizations are there too, including the American Red Cross.
People from all over want to help — they’re willing to send money and donate their time. But after a disaster, there tends to be confusion about what is needed.
Caitra O’Neill runs Recovers.org, a company that to simplify that.
“We are able to create more efficiency in response by pushing people to what the greatest needs are before the community even knows what those needs are,” she says, adding it is important to learn from previous disasters and to involve locals.
A common misconceptions, she says, is that survivors need clothes. But for someone who has lost his home, that’s not at the top of the list.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.