This is according to Bryan Husband, Clay County Emergency Management Agency Director and member of Indiana Task Force 7.
Indiana Task Force 7 was deployed Monday evening to the Schenectady, N.Y., area.
"First, beware of scammers, particularly those collecting money on the telephone," Husband said. "Scammers come out of the woodwork in tragedies like this. If you don't know the charity, be very careful. Well established charities are better to donate to."
Husband said those wanting to help with the cleanup must go through proper channels through the state of Indiana.
According to Husband, Indiana is a member of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
"It is best to wait until specific people with skills are called for," Husband said. "When help comes in from the outside, in situations like this, the responders' need of food, water, shelter, etc., have to be met.
"Right now, the areas hit may not have the ability to meet the responders' needs and the problem would be compounded."
As for sending relief supplies, Husband said those wishing to do so would be best to send cash donations at this point. He stressed to send the donations to "national established" charities.
"Also, sending trucks with supplies independently outside the coordinated relief efforts, trying to get affected areas will only get in the way and tie up emergency service vehicles," Husband added. "If not part of the coordinated relief effort, self-deployed trucks or people could be turned back. Any local relief effort must be coordinated by EMAC through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
"Many times, well intended efforts have been wasted because there was not a need and items donated did not get to victims," Husband added. "For now, the best thing is send a cash donation to charities you know."