Friday, August 31, 2012

Gulf Coast States Assess Needs for Isaac Relief Efforts

Hurricane Isaac was downgraded to a Tropical Depression Thursday afternoon, meaning that the worst of the damage is behind us. Relief agencies through the Gulf Coast region are currently assessing the damages, figuring out what they will need to provide the best relief they can to the victims of the hurricane. All the States in the storm's path have preparations in place and participate in the National Donations Management Network®, powered by Aidmatrix, so that they can instantly communicate with the public regarding items needed for the relief efforts.

For continued updates, please follow Aidmatrix via our Blog and Twitter.

FEMA has published "Tips for Donating and Volunteering Responsibly" for those wishing to aid in the Isaac relief efforts. Please read the following to learn how you can help too.

Tips for Donating and Volunteering Responsibly
Remember "Cash is Best"
Financial contributions to voluntary agencies can be used to purchase specific needed items on scene which helps the local economy and prevents voluntary partners from having to transport items at great expense. See the links below to donate cash to the active voluntary agencies working in the state of your choice.

Collecting Goods Is Not Favored
Clothing, household items, and food are best provided by well-funded voluntary agencies and not through the expensive process of collecting, sorting, packaging, transporting, receiving, sorting, and distributing of goods. But if you do host a collection, know the facts: (1) what is needed, (2) where it is needed, (3) who will receive and distribute it, and (4) how they want it packaged and shipped. Speak to voluntary agencies working the disaster to determine what the specific needs are before you collect. Better yet, post an offer of goods at the links provided below for the state of your choice. Voluntary partners and emergency management will review your offer and advise you if it is needed.

Volunteering Your Time
The best way to volunteer after disaster is through affiliating with a recognized disaster-related voluntary agency. Unconnected volunteers who show up at disaster sites are called "spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers" and often require the support of already busy agencies and officials. It's better to volunteer through an organization, a church, or at a minimum, by connecting with the volunteer coordination offices in the state of your choice.

To donate or volunteer, go to one of these state sites:


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Congratulations Second Harvest North Florida on Implementing AgencyExpress

Congratulations to Second Harvest North Florida in Jacksonville. They are our newest (and 43rd) Feeding America member Food Bank to implement the AgencyExpress™ On-Line Ordering system. We look forward to much good news from them as they introduce and roll out on-line ordering to their network of over 450 non-profit organizations in 17 counties.  Their banner says it all: Feeding North Florida – We Nourish Hope™.

-Bob Good, Product Manager for Aidmatrix

Learn more about  Second Harvest North Florida

Learn more about AgencyExpress

Tropical Storm Isaac Relief Update, Microsoft Corporate Citizenship Blog

By Molly Bull, Senior Communications Manager, Microsoft Disaster Response

Situation Analysis: August 29, 2012
Recently downgraded to a Tropical Storm, many continue to watch and track the progress of Isaac, which made landfall Tuesday evening in the U.S. Gulf Coast.  At landfall the storm was a Category 1 hurricane causing heavy rains and reaching wind speeds of more than 80 mph.  The slow-moving storm has spilled over levees, flooded communities, and is causing wind damage as it slowly works its way further inland.

Latest Information
For more information please follow NBC News or visit our disaster incident portal where we’re closely tracking information coming in from FEMA and other sources to share information on relief activities and storm movement.

Another great source of information is the American Red Cross’s Hurricane App. It provides great information about hurricanes, what to do immediately afterwards, and location-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alerts. It will provide the information you need at your fingertips.

How You Can Help
Even before this hurricane made landfall, a lot of organizations were busy making preparations, gathering supplies, and educating people how to stay safe as the storm approached. Now that the hurricane has arrived, these organizations are on the front lines, providing direct relief to those who need it most.

· AidMatrix – Working in Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Highlighting specific items being requested by relief organizations working in Louisiana.

· American Red Cross – Providing ready-to-eat meals, setting up mobile kitchens, gathering supplies needed for relief efforts, among other activities.

· Save the Children – Set up a Hurricane Isaac Emergency Fund to collect funds to help protect vulnerable children and provide relief to families.

Read the story on Microsoft's Corporate Citizenship Blog

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aidmatrix and Microsoft Team to Highlight Needs After Isaac Makes Landfall

We have partnered with Microsoft to help support disaster relief organizations in their response to Hurricane Isaac. Through Microsoft’s cloud-based portal, you can access a detailed view of Hurricane Isaac and links for ways to help the recovery efforts.