With hundreds of thousands of people facing long-term displacement from their homes and communities, AAOHN is offering this online center that provides resource information for those who would like to contribute funds, volunteer time or access up-to-date news about Hurricane Katrina.
Individuals and companies interested in participating in relief efforts and sharing information with their employers should log on to http://www.aaohn.org/member_services/hurricane_relief.cfm to learn about sanctioned relief efforts and the recommended methods for donating money and resources, reporting missing loved ones or volunteering.
"Through AAOHN's Katrina relief resource center, OHNs, employers and company employees can access the necessary tools and information needed to assist others during the difficult weeks and months ahead," AAOHN President Susan Randolph said. "The public health and occupational health implications are enormous for the states affected. We realize that many AAOHN members and their families, businesses and communities are deeply affected by this natural disaster, and we extend our sympathies, prayers, and support."
As in any disaster, help and support is always needed. Here are some ways that individuals can help:
- Make cash contributions to the American Red Cross or other agencies that are providing direct humanitarian aid to victims. The best way to help is by making an online contribution to the Disaster Relief Fund at http://www.redcross.org.
- If you have special disaster training, consider volunteering to help provide care to victims, especially in those areas providing comfort to victims such as Houston, Dallas and Atlanta. For the moment, FEMA has stated that volunteers should not report directly to the affected areas unless directed by a voluntary agency.
- Offer counseling to employees who may have family members living in the area.
- Assist employees who are trying to communicate with or locate family members who may have been displaced.
- Share resources with employees about hurricane recovery everything from protecting health and safety to preventing injury and illness to safe cleanup.
- Refer to the hurricane relief resources on AAOHN's Web site.
AAOHN members interested in volunteering for the American Red Cross should first contact their local Red Cross chapter. Visitors to http://www.aaohn.org/member_services/hurricane_relief.cfm can access Hurricane Katrina disaster relief information, as well as contact information for relevant federal and state government agencies.