Monetary Donationsto Relief Organizations Are the Best Aid to Victims of Powerful HurricaneWASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) encourage Americans to respond appropriately and responsibly to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean and as it approaches the U.S. East Coast. Those who wish to help are encouraged to give financial support to relief and charitable organizations instead of material donations such as clothing and canned goods. Monetary donations to relief organizations working in affected areas are the most direct and effective way to help people impacted by disasters. This is the decades-long experience of the United States Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, National VOAD, and others in the established international and domestic disaster response communities. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121027/DC01485LOGO ) Hurricane Sandy was a Category Two storm when it made landfall this week in parts of the Caribbean. Now a Category One hurricane, Sandy is projected to track up the East Coast of the United States and is forecast to make landfall somewhere along the mid-Atlantic seaboard early next week. Relief organizations are already on the ground in the Caribbean providing aid to hurricane survivors. National VOAD member organizations are preparing to respond in the U.S. mid-Atlantic coastal region. Monetary donations to National VOAD members working in the area are needed. Cash offers to National VOAD member organizations provides the most flexibility in obtaining urgently needed resources and helps pump money into local economies to help businesses recover. "Disaster relief situations can evolve quickly, and monetary donations allow aid organizations to respond to changing needs. Even small contributions can do immense good," says Juanita Rilling, Director of CIDI. "Supporting the work of professional humanitarian relief agencies is the best way to help survivors." "Unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing requires the added cost of storage and valuable disaster response staff and volunteer time, which could be better used helping meet people's real needs," explained Daniel Stoecker, Executive Director of National VOAD. "Financial contributions made directly to reputable volunteer-based nonprofit agencies will be used to purchase specific items identified as needed on the scene." Those interested in supporting communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy can learn more by visiting National VOAD's website, www.nvoad.org and CIDI's Web site at www.cidi.org. About CIDICIDI is based in Washington, DC and was created in 1988 to educate Americans about the best ways to help people affected by disasters overseas. CIDI provides individuals, groups, embassies, businesses and corporations with information and guidance in support of maximally beneficial public support of international disaster relief efforts. The organization works with a variety of partners, and promotes activities and donations to channel the public's energy and generosity in ways most helpful to beneficiaries. The Center is funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. For more information about CIDI and helping international disaster survivors, please visit www.cidi.org.