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Most effective ways to help in a disaster

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Amarillo, TX - Ongoing relief efforts in disaster-stricken communities in Texas and Oklahoma are prompting local law enforcement to review their approach to emergency response.

Earlier today (Jul. 4), the Department of Public Safety and Amarillo police met to discuss what's most effective in dealing with the aftermath of a disaster.  An officer with the Emergency Management Division of the DPS iterated the importance of raising public awareness about the logistics of donating.

For example, immediately after the explosion in West, Texas and the massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, truckloads of donations poured in from all over  and while those donations reflect the most altruistic side of human nature, too much of a good thing can cause problems on the other end.

Steve Pair, Executive Director of the Texas Panhandle Chapter of the Red Cross in Amarillo, remembers past experiences in disaster zones as being constantly over inundated with donations.

"We wind up with things that either: A) aren't needed, or B) can't be transported to actually help those in need, because in the end, that's what we're all trying to do, is just give some kind of help to those people impacted by a disaster and who need the help," says Pair.

Organizing those donations stretches human resources thin as well, as volunteers and workers are diverted to deal with the sheer volume of donated items.

The city of West has since issued a statement asking people to not donate material goods, and instead make monetary donations, which are infinitely more useful and versatile.  And the city of Moore has issued a similar statement, asking people to call them first to see what their greatest needs are at the time.

If you'd like to help out with donations, money, or your time, you can find out how to do so at the links attached to this story.

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