Natural Disaster Relief Efforts

Natural Disaster Relief Efforts

Dear MSU students, faculty, staff, and local community members,

Thank you for your willingness to help those that have been affected by natural disasters. When a disaster happens, it can take months and even years for communities to rebuild. To make the most of your efforts to help, consider these tips for donating and volunteering:

  • Be patient and be safe. Do not self-deploy into a disaster area. We know you want to help any way possible, but you must wait until first responders announce that the affected area is safe to enter and that volunteer opportunities have been identified.
  • Sign up before you show up to volunteer. If you can volunteer, make sure to find an organization active in disaster recovery and sign up directly with them. Capacity is stretched very thin during disasters, and you need to make sure that you can be utilized. You can view a list of organizations accepting volunteers in times of disaster on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website (NVOAD) at
  • Donate cash. What most communities need is money, not things. A cash donation to a recognized national non-profit or a disaster relief organization is an effective donation you can make because it offers them the most flexibility in getting the most-needed resources. If you donate goods, organizations will have to spend time, money, and volunteer power to sort and store donations. This can be problematic, especially when storage facilities are sometimes being used as shelters. For a list of major non-profits active in disaster relief, visit this list on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster's website to find an agency and donate. To obtain more specific information about disaster relief organizations in the affected area view the affected State’s Emergency Management website.
  • If you would like to support MSU students that have been affected by natural disaters, you can consider making a donation to the MSU Student Relief Fund. The MSU student relief fund is built with private gifts and is designed to help those members of the student body affected with day-to-day crises or displaced by catastrophic disasters. You can donate and view more information at

For more information and additional ways to help those affected, visit the Federal Emergency Management Website (FEMA) at, the Mississippi State University Extension Website at, or contact the Maroon Volunteer Center in 306 Moseley Hall at 662-325-2150 or

For more information on natural disaters, download the FEMA app at for real-time alerts and information on disaster resources.