Natural disasters are widespread and devastating. Unfortunately, response and relief efforts take time. It can take days and weeks to fully assess the situation; and a month later, the priorities may look very different. In fact, some of the greatest need may be several months after the disaster occurs, as first responders have moved on from the initial relief efforts. Recovery is a long-term process.

As you consider what can be done to support victims of the Indonesia tsunami and earthquake, the Mangkhut tsunami and earthquake, and the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma, Maria, Florence, and Michael, you might ask these questions:

  • What are the greatest needs of the affected communities?
  • Is the organization you might support on the ground at the disaster site or are they partnering with a local organization?
  • What are the organization’s core competencies: medical, logistics, search/rescue/recovery, food, housing, education, resettlement, etc.? And, do those capabilities match the greatest needs created by this particular disaster?
  • Do these capabilities align with your foundation’s priorities?

Here are some resources that your foundation might find helpful in assessing the needs and key actors in particular disasters and communities:

Resources for Indonesia

The tsunami and earthquake have caused unimaginable damage to life and property in Indonesia. Here is information from organizations on the ground in Sulawesi:

Mercy Corps

Doctors Without Borders

Local Indonesian Groups


Resources for Hurricane Michael

The impact of Hurricane Michael is unfolding as this post is written. To keep up with the latest developments, these organizations are working on the ground to assess the needs, help with rescue and recovery and determined what needs there will be going forward:

World Vision

Direct Relief


General Resources for Disaster Relief

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Relief Web