Shelter Island Police Officers Tom Cronin and Terrance LeGrady have suspended their efforts launched by Officer Cronin’s wife Susan, who posted a Face Book plea for contributions.
"We brought up a huge load and it was gone in 48 hours," Officer Cronin said.
Officer Cronin said he understands FEMA's need to coordinate what's coming in and where it's being distributed. At the same time, he resists the FEMA plea for people to give money, saying he prefers to know exactly what is being received by disaster victims.
Cash is the most efficient method of donating, according to the FEMA website, because it gives agencies flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources. Cash also saves staff from sorting through donations in order to redirect them to where they're needed.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Plus - cash is so much easier to steal. Ask a TSA agent...)
FEMA suggests contributing through various trusted organizations in the community, including church groups. And in addition to national groups like the Red Cross, each state maintains its own list of volunteer organizations that spring into action when a disaster hits.
A community in need can "become easily overwhelmed with the amount of generous people who want to help," according to FEMA. "Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way."