Everyone is preparing for Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and many will need disaster relief after the storm. American Red Cross workers will be across the region to help those in need.
For monetery relief, there are public and private resources available. Most of these are delivered through state, municipal or community-based organizations.
- A comprehensive site on disaster relief is at the federal disaster assistance site.
- US Housing and Urban Development provides a broad range of resources on disaster relief.
- Pennsylvania has an emergency management site. Its Eastern area, which includes Philadelphia, is specific in information for local residents.
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides information specific to New Jersey.
The private sector is anticipated to step in, particularly among corporations with a history of giving in disaster relief, including Capital One and Chase. Capital One has a stance as a corporate citizen that believes corporations should help in disasters. Chase, Abbott and IBM are among corporations recognized by the US Chamber of Commerce for their response in disasters.
Foundations and corporations do not ordinarily make cash grants directly to individuals. There are also legal limits in how they can extend assistance in disasters. For more information, the IRS publication “Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations” offers some insight and information. Philadelphia provides a workbook for certain nonprofits – private foundations – that incur expense in preparing for or responding to federally declared disasters. The Council on Foundations and the Jesse Ball Dupont Fund have both released guidance publications that call for foundations to go beyond immediate relief and look to rebuilding and economic development after a disaster.
The IRS gives information on disaster relief that includes guidance for individuals , covering everything from tax extensions to travel expenses. It provided tax relief for individuals in certain counties of New Jersey affected by Hurricane Irene.
The Philadelphia Daily News advised people how to take care of their pets in the emergency. Animal organizations needing disaster help may be able to turn to Ellen Degeneres, who has a history of providing funding that helps animals in disasters. PetSmart and Petco both have grant programs to help animal welfare organizations deal with disasters.
Whether for people or animals, public and private funders will be involved in helping those affected in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.