Disaster Relief: Types of Assistance Charity May Provide


In general, what types of assistance may a charitable organization provide?

Disaster relief organizations may provide short-term (emergency) assistance and longer-term aid to ensure that victims have the basic necessities, such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, and medical assistance (including psychological counseling).  Assistance may also be provided in the form of cash grants or vouchers for goods or services.  The type of aid that is appropriate depends on the individual's needs and available resources.

For example, immediately following a devastating flood, a family may be in need of food, clothing, and shelter, regardless of their financial resources.  They may not require longer-term assistance, however, if they have adequate resources (such as savings, wages, and insurance) upon which to draw.  Individuals who are financially needy or otherwise distressed are appropriate recipients of charity.