In a Disaster, We Give Where... When... How... and What is Most Needed

Support When it is needed, Where it is needed, and How it is Needed Most

In response to the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and to the devastating fires across Northern California, Simply the Basics has once again cleared out our emergency disaster relief storage unit. We are providing care to the affected individuals and communities with their most pressing and basic needs so they can devote their attention to getting back on their feet. Each situation comes with a unique need; some of the time this is hygiene and soap, and on other occasions it is toilet paper, diapers, wipes, and formula. More often than not, it is about picking up and maintaining surplus donations, and then bringing those supplies back over time as needed, allowing for safe storage.

While in-kind donations are always incredibly appreciated in disaster zones and community organizations, finding the time and resources to effectively receive, store, and distribute products can be quite difficult - especially when space is limited and/or costly. This is often where Simply the Basics steps in! We understand the burden that can sometimes accompany well-intentioned gifts, so we always ask before giving. For example, we are now partnered with gymnasiums, libraries, and community groups in Texas and Florida who told us that their greatest need was clean, dry storage space for all the donations they received after the hurricanes hit. We used the monetary donations you sent us in response to the hurricanes to fund portable storage units where supplies can be stored properly and safely.

Unique Needs After Disaster

It can be difficult to predict what people may need most after a disaster; so, we asked directly and here’s what we found:

While shelter, food, and clean water are top-priority items at most humanitarian relief organizations, things like storage spaces, menstrual hygiene products, diapers and baby formula, clean undergarments, etc. fall by the wayside. Basic hygiene is always important, but in the aftermath of natural disasters it can be crucial in supporting victims maintain health and hope when they need it most. Simply the Basics always refers back to Maslow’ hierarchy of needs - greater goals cannot be reached unless basic needs are met first. Those affected by natural disaster cannot restore their lives if their attention and energy are being directed to securing things like soap, tampons, clean underwear and baby formula. These needs are ongoing, and so is our support.

The Hurricanes Have Passed and the Fires are Contained - what now?

The work is far from done, and the needs are still there

Reconstructing homes and communities after a disaster is long, arduous work, that does not end after the media moves on to the next headline story. Simply the Basics continues to send needed products and services to affected areas, as needed. We have ongoing contact with organizations and individuals throughout Northern California, Texas, and Florida to ensure their needs are not forgotten. To help assist those affected by wildfires, without adding too much to traffic going in and out of the area as people try to assist, we have partnered with other donors and organizations in San Francisco to consolidate donations into one truck that continues to make trips wherever needed.

By providing basic needs, Simply the Basics helps affected communities focus on greater goals, like housing and education, self-care, debris removal, rebuilding entire cities, and policy and infrastructure improvements. We have not forgotten the individuals and families in Texas, Florida, and the Bay, and thankfully neither have our donors! We are so grateful to you for your incredible compassion and your ongoing support as we uphold our mission of empowering communities in need so they can focus on greater goals. Your donations have an extraordinary impact.