Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana near New Orleans seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. Thankfully, Isaac did not pack as powerful a punch as Katrina. But it still brings up painful memories for many of the residents in the Gulf Coast region.
As many of us remember, Katrina left a tremendous amount of damage in her wake. The heart wrenching images and stories that came to light in the days following the storm prompted a huge outpouring of charitable giving. In fact, more than $4 billion was initially raised to assist with the Katrina relief and recover efforts. But there was much criticism of the nonprofit sector’s response (not to mention the government’s response). So much so, that 64% of the donors we surveyed said they had little to no confidence in how the charities used the donations. The charities themselves even expressed to us some of the ways in which they failed as well as the steps they planned to take to fix those errors.
Thankfully, by all accounts, the region was better prepared this time around. In fact, some of the charities mobilized early. For example, in advance of the storm, the Louisiana SPCA and the Humane Society of South Mississippi evacuated hundreds of dogs and cats. The animals were sent to the SPCA of Texas. To deal with this large influx of animals, the SPCA of Texas asded people in the community to adopt these animals and give them a loving home.
The list to the right includes more charities that are responding to Isaac. Some, like Operation USA and Oxfam America, began by providing assistance in Haiti where the storm first hit and caused widespread flooding thereby hampering the nation's ongoing efforts to recover from the devastating earthquake that hit in 2010.
Before you give to these or any charities responding to Isaac or the next natural disaster, be sure to take heed of the lessons we hope donors took to heart after Katrina. Also take a few minutes and review our Tips For Giving In Times Of Crisis.