For the most part it’s a bad idea to show up to a disaster area to “help.” You’d just be another mouth to feed and keep hydrated. This is the case, of course, unless you have some special skill.
José Andrés is a chef who came to Puerto Rico organized chefs and served more than 2.2 million meals.
From the NY Times:
Since he hit the ground five days after the hurricane devastated this island of 3.4 million on Sept. 20, he has built a network of kitchens, supply chains and delivery services that as of Monday had served more than 2.2 million warm meals and sandwiches. No other single agency — not the Red Cross, the Salvation Army nor any government entity — has fed more people freshly cooked food since the hurricane, or done it in such a nurturing way.
FEMA told him he didn’t have enough experience, but he didn’t let that stop him. The Salvation Army has asked him for help.
“At the end, I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t try to do what I thought was right,”Andrés told the Times. “We need to think less sometimes and dream less and just make it happen.”