Natural Disasters and Charitable Donations
Between fires, floods, hurricanes and tornados, since 2005 the United States has been wracked over and over by Mother Nature. First, it was Katrina, then Rita came rushing in hot on Katrina’s heels to decimate Louisiana. In 2007, wildfires burned their way across Southern California, destroying 1500 homes and over 500,000 acres of land. In 2008, Hurricane Ike blew through Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, leaving a wake of damage estimated to be around $19 billion. In 2011, 358 tornados spread throughout 21 states from Texas to New York from April 25 through April 28. This outbreak was the costliest tornado outbreak and one of the costliest natural disasters in United States history, with a total of $11 billion in damages. 2012 brought us Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Damage in the US is estimated at over $71 billion. In 2013, tornados wrought massive devastation across 9 states. 2014 brought us winter storm damage and volcanos erupting. 2015 and 2016 brought more of the same with hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and floods.
When we are struck by a natural disaster FEMA and the American Red Cross work hard at setting up shelters for the displaced families, providing food, healthcare, and more. Often during these times, one might feel inclined to make a charitable donation to one of the organizations that help out in these circumstances. For a list of major nonprofits that provide assistance to communities impacted by a disaster, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website. By doing a “good turn” as the Girl Scouts say, a good turn is brought back to you. By making a charitable donation, you get a tax deduction.
- The American Red Cross offers several ways to help, online or by phone.
- The Red Cross also has a “Safe and Well” service that allows survivors to register themselves online and lets family members check on the status of loved ones.
Natural disasters can occur anywhere. Are you prepared should a disaster occur where you live. Here in California, it could be a fire, an earthquake, or flooding rivers and streams. Do you have a plan in place? http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan has helpful information for making an emergency preparedness plan.
The Tax Office, Inc, is not affiliated with FEMA or the Red Cross or any donation sites. We suggest that you investigate any site before you make a donation to be certain it is an authentic charity. If you have any questions regarding making a donation, please contact us. We would be happy to answer any question you might have.
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