Alaska is about as far away as any state in the country from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and the expected fallout from Hurricane Irma, but Alaskans can still help the recovery efforts.
Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Andrew Bogar said there are two major ways to aid in the Red Cross’s recovery efforts in the affected areas: donating money and volunteering to help.
Giving money, Bogar said, is a much more efficient way for Alaskans to help than sending food or clothing.
“The problem we run into here in Alaska is the logistics of shipping that stuff by the boatload,” Bogar said. “It’s very expensive, and we would burn up more donations getting those things down there.”
There are three easy ways to donate money, Bogar said. People can go to redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROS (1-800-733-2767) to work out a payment or text IRMA or HARVEY to 90999 to automatically make a $10 payment to relief efforts.
For those looking to make even more of a commitment, Bogar said, volunteering is the best option. The Red Cross deploys volunteers two weeks at a time, Bogar said, and pays for their travel, lodging and food. Training doesn’t take long, Bogar said, and the Red Cross will even be offering it at this week’s Safety & Preparedness Expo that takes place all day Friday and Saturday at Centennial Hall.
He said two people from Juneau have already shipped out to work at hurricane shelters, and more are starting to sign up.
“The Lower 48 is in desperate need of help,” Bogar said. “They need volunteers to go there and help shoulder the burden, and Alaskans are answering that call.”