The 7.8-magnitude quake is the strongest to hit the region since 1939. We need to come together quickly to offer various forms of relief support for the area.
Give Now - Cash is King in a Crisis
International humanitarian organizations, including U.S. firefighters trained specifically for disaster relief, have rushed to offer assistance. However, they face daunting obstacles such as impassable bridges, damaged airports, and blocked roads.
To help speed up the delivery of aid, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency and designated 10 provinces that were most severely impacted as "disaster zones" on February 7th.
As the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notes, "Recovery lasts much longer than media attention. There will be a need for volunteers for many months, and often years, after a disaster. Your help is often needed long after a disaster." Therefore, for those who wish to donate now or in the future, it's important to keep in mind that the need for support will persist long after the initial response efforts.
Watch For Fradulent Charities
Beware of Scams: In times of disaster, it is common for deceitful individuals to exploit people's generosity in order to steal their donations. To ensure your contributions reach their intended recipients, be cautious of these warning signs when making donations:
- Receiving correspondence that resembles bills
- Difficulty in obtaining information about the organization's daily operations
- Pressure to donate immediately
- Limited presence other than on social media
- Requests for donations in cash, gift cards or by wiring money
To verify the legitimacy of a charity, perform an online search using the organization's name and keywords such as "complaint," "fraud," "scam," and "review." This is a quick and easy starting point, although it should not be relied upon as the sole method of verification.
For a more credible means of checking the legitimacy of a charity, you can use the IRS 501(c)(3) search tool. This database lists all registered tax-exempt organizations.
Stepping Up to Help
Amazon is stepping up to assist the ongoing relief efforts in response to the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and northern Syria. The company is set to ship donated items, including essential supplies like food, medicine, and heating equipment, from its Istanbul fulfillment center to affected areas. Amazon's Disaster Relief program, headed by Abe Diaz, has stated that this is just the beginning of the company's response and they will work closely with local organizations to meet on-the-ground needs.
Apple and Google have also extended their support by offering donations to the relief and recovery efforts. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai both issued statements of condolences and support.
Telecom companies T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom are also doing their part to help those affected by the disaster. Deutsche Telekom is offering free calls between Germany, Türkiye, and Syria for a week, while T-Mobile is waiving international long-distance and SMS texts between Türkiye, the US, and Syria for their customers. T-Mobile is also providing free international roaming, data, and calls between Türkiye and the US for both pre-and postpaid customers.
Sustained Help Will Be Needed
Not only does the region of Turkey and Syria require immediate aid, but it will also need sustained support in the coming months as it grapples with widespread devastation across multiple fronts, ranging from medical needs to the rebuilding of homes and infrastructure.
To donate, visit Türkiye and Syria Earthquake Appeal.