Should you send food and medicine to the disaster area? Unless specifically asked for, donations of food are discouraged. In most disasters, food scarcity is not an immediate problem. Again, look for the specific lists of needed items before you send anything. What about medicine? The arrival of unnecessary medicines at a disaster scene can be a burden rather than an asset. Medical supplies are highly specialized commodities that must have a distribution channel of qualified personnel. If medical supplies are called for, medicines sent must have a shelf life of at least six months after arriving at the disaster site, and they must also be clearly labled. Old prescription medications should never be sent.
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