Before the storms even cleared the state of Mississippi, the question of "how can I help?" was echoing across social media. This isn't a case where the answer is, whatever you can do. The deputy director of Volunteer Mississippi says there are do's and don'ts.
"The main thing is to have a coordinated response so that everything will be effective," explained Danny Blue. "That's what you want. You don't want folks just going out because it could create unsafe conditions which creates another disaster so we want to avoid that."
Volunteer Mississippi has set up an online registration. For now, they're asking folks to sit tight while emergency responders clear the initial dangers like downed power lines.
"Once they give us the ok that it's ok for volunteers to come in, that's when we start our work," said Blue.
The group will send volunteers out with various organizations. The American Red Cross has its first set of teams on the ground. But they say the best way to help is to give money.
"Whether you're affected by the storm or not, at some point your donation goes out to the people in Mississippi and it helps the people of Mississippi return from disasters like this," said Jared Turner, American Red Cross Community Chapter Executive.
You can donate in three different ways. Call 1-800-RED CROSS. You can also go to the Mississippi Red Cross website. Or text Red Cross to 90999.
Giving blood is another option for helping from a distance.
"If there is any injury and patients that require blood, we're supplying those at UMC and across the region," said Tony Bahou with Mississippi Blood Services.
You can give at any local blood drive or donor center in your area.
"People can donate right now and it'll save lives, coming up in the next few days," Bahou said.
Other donation drives and volunteer opportunities are still developing in the wake of the storm.
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