Sandy donations can be a 'burden,' says N.B. volunteer
A software developer from Bathurst, N.B., says emergency crews were overwhelmed with information and donations during Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery in the eastern United States.
Denis Desrosiers creates emergency management software and recently returned from storm-battered New York and New Jersey.
Desrosiers said crews there told him accepting donations of physical goods such as clothing and furniture can be a burden.
"They have to be processed, they have to be stored [and] they have to find people that need them. So that's a huge undertaking. They're already overwhelmed in terms of their staff, in terms of people that are engaged in that process," Desrosiers said.
"Donations to organizations that are managing the relief there make their way much more directly; they have agreements with suppliers, with stores, and with people who are able to provide food, water, shelter and essentials."
Desrosiers said emergency crews prefer if people donate money to recognized charities like the Red Cross instead of items.
"They know people are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts and they're thankful for the sentiment, but really, it's a burden on the emergency response people to accept these donations," he said.
In some areas cleanup and recovery is still ongoing.