A number of devastating hurricanes have affected many Americans in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, leaving residents without food, water, and shelter. The recovery will take months, if not years, and residents will have to muck out their destroyed homes and try to salvage mementos from their lives.
If you or a loved one is a veteran and has been affected by these storms, or you want to help veterans recover, here are a few organizations that can help:
Many assistance funds are only meant for immediate needs, such as food, transportation and shelter, and not for the clean up effort. Team Rubicon sends trained teams of veterans into these disaster areas to assist with needs such as clean up and rescues, all while giving them another opportunity to serve again.
The American Legion has a National Emergency Fund available for Legion members and Posts.
Steve Shuga, Commander of the American Legion Department of Florida, said in an interview with ConnectingVets.com, that anyone can donate to the NEF program to help veterans and American Legion posts with their immediate needs.
“It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up. It’s basically there to get them back on their feet,” he said.
You can also visit the Department of Texas American Legion page here.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars offers financial grants to service members and veterans through their Unmet Needs program as well as their disaster relief fund.
Disabled American Veterans
Disabled American Veterans is a non-profit organization that supports veterans who are ill or injured due to their military service.
Their disaster relief program is providing between $250 to $500 in financial aid for food, clothing, and lodging, according to Justin Hart, assistant national service director at Disabled American Veterans.
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America has a disaster relief fund for their members, with grants up to $1,500 to help with recovery. The funds can help with replacing food, clothing, medicine or repairing damaged roofs.
If you are a member of PVA, you can fill out their application here.
Veterans Affairs Benefits
VA’s Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan has been activated. Eligible vets can take their VA ID Card and a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle to any CVS or HEB pharmacy to receive a 14-day supply of medication.
Veterans needing pharmacy assistance – call (866) 265-0124.
If you’ve lost your medication and no longer have the written prescription you can contact the Health Resources Center Disaster Hotline at (800) 507-4571
Tricare users in Louisiana and some counties in Texas can get emergency prescription refills at any Tricare network pharmacy. Check the Tricare website for up to date information
For those specifically living in the Caribbean, check out reporter Jonathan Kaupanger’s article with more detailed information: “VA healthcare in Caribbean is there, just barely”