1. Get to know your neighbors from the start.
Having a relationship with those living around you to make sure you have a network for help if anything happens.
2. Find out where you might be most helpful.
Online forums and official services such as the Red Cross can help you find out where help is most needed.
3. If you have services to offer, people know you’re there to help.
Dave Ores put up a hand-drawn sign to let people affected by Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent power outage in downtown New York know that he was available to help those in need of medical attention.
4. Share what you can, even if it’s just a plug.
When Hurricane Sandy rendered a huge swath of Manhattan powerless for several days, those with functioning backup generators happily shared extension cords and power strips to help those affected keep their phones charged.
5. Or some much needed desk space and wifi.
Workers all over New York turned their living rooms into makeshift offices to accomodate those affected by Hurricane Sandy who could not afford to take time off work while the power was being restored.
6. Send a surprise delivery to show your appreciation.
Shortly after the fatal fertilizer plant in West, Texas, an emergency room doctor from Boston, which had just experienced its own tragedy, sent a huge delivery of pizzas to an area hospital to show their support from one E.R. staff to another.
7. When you can’t think of anything else, show them you care.
A candle, or a hand-written card might not seem like much, but a gesture to show they are in your thoughts may make a difference during hard times.
8. Help them with small tasks they might not have time for, like walking the dogs.
Everyday tasks like grocery shopping, mowing the lawn or even walking the dogs can go undone for days when tragedy strikes. Offering to run small errands can allow your neighbors to focus on the more important tasks at hand.
9. Never underestimate the power of homebaked goods.
When nothing else seems to help, warm cookies are a great way to put a smile on someone’s face.
10. Keep rolling up your sleeves to lend a hand.
When natural disasters hit, rebuilding efforts can take several weeks or months. Stay attuned to volunteer efforts that might need an extra set of hands to restore the area to its previous state.