Chaos rules after a disaster. Getting the right supplies to the right place to help the right people is a logistical challenge. Your approach to offering donations has a critical impact on the lives of others. Under ordinary conditions, delivering materiel requires a well-organized system and an intact transportation network. However, disasters leave devastation in their wake. Roads may be washed out. Debris may block transportation routes. Bridges may no longer exist. Airport runways may be damaged and unusable. Communication networks may be destroyed. Delivery of donated goods, therefore, becomes problematic, if not impossible. If you donate goods, they need to be inspected, inventoried, and warehoused. Outdated, malfunctioning, or damaged items need to be discarded. Perishable items need to be refrigerated. You may donate shoes, but the need may be for coats; you may donate coats, but the victims may have no shoes. Donating goods can get in the way of disaster relief efforts. Donate goods only if specifically requested.
So what is the answer?