The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has established a toll-free Hurricane Katrina hotline to accept public contributions of goods and services to assist victims. The hotline, 1-800-440-6728, has been activated and has begun receiving calls from around the nation and the world.
The current critical need is for monetary donations to assist organizations at work providing relief in effected areas. These include the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and others. USA Freedom Corps, an office at the White House created by President George W. Bush to assist volunteering in America, is coordinating all types of donations to the relief effort. A list of organizations active during disasters can be found at the USA Freedom Corps website, www.usafreedomcorps.gov.
The FEMA hotline can coordinate donations of all types. A representative will take your name and information on how to contact you, as well as what type of goods or services you wish to donate. Donation offers may include temporary housing for disaster victims, vehicles, construction equipment, food, clothing, or other offers that may assist those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
FEMA’s 1-800-440-6728 hotline is able to assist those wishing to donate money to their preferred organizations with a history of responding to disasters. The hotline does not itself accept donations and is not designed to accommodate emergency or information resource and it cannot assist those wishing to do business with the agency. For more information on this please visit www.fema.gov/ofm, or contact FEMA’s acquisition voice message system at (202) 646-4006.
FEMA also has activated the National Emergency Resource Registry to coordinate donations from businesses willing to assist with major needs such as housing, transportation and supplies. It is able to match donors to specific needs in the affected area. Businesses can access the database at www.fema.gov and click on the “Help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina” or www.swern.gov/ to register to provide relief.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.