Chances are very good that if you own a small business, you live near your business. That means you are a part of that community both as a business owner and as a citizen. Whenever a natural disaster, like Hurricane Harvey, occurs there are always examples of people and businesses pitching in to help victims. It’s a good time to reflect on how you and your small business can prepare for and help those in need, not just during a disaster, but especially during a disaster.
For a major disaster like Hurricane Harvey, victims are going to need money. If you know someone specifically, send them cash. If you know someone by extension, send them cash. The banks won’t be able to handle an influx of checks and money orders can be tricky in a crisis. In fact, most victims won’t be able to cash a check as their banks, especially if they use a local bank, are more than likely closed for the foreseeable future. Having money in a bank account won’t help either as local stores will also be closed for the foreseeable future.
Right away, shelters and families are going to need clothes, later on, they will need items to refurnish houses. In the meantime, families with children will need things like toys and stuffed animals. Everyone needs personal care products likes soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. You can talk to charities that are on the ground like The Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Baptist Global Response, or Americares to find out how you can donate and what they are in need of.
Taking time out of your own day to help someone can be difficult at first, but it is incredible to show someone that they mean something to you. There is no more tangible display of kindness than volunteering, and it really doesn’t take that much time or energy. In Portland, there are tons of places to volunteer. From Sisters of the Road or the Blanchet House to the Oregon Food Bank and more. The Timbers Army has a community outreach arm.