Over the past few years, natural disasters have become more and more frequent. From the tragic earthquakes in Japan, Nepal and Haiti to the devastating hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy.
When travelling to destinations like Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season, it's a very real possibility that tragedy might strike.
And if it does what should you do?
Here's how you can give back after a natural disaster and why you should travel there anyway.
1. Find a local organisation to support
If you're on the ground when disaster strikes and want to help, seek out international aid organisations. Approach UNICEF or the Red Cross and find out if you can volunteer or donate anything they might need.
Or if you're back home, get online and research what organisations you can support. You could raise money, use your social media platforms to create awareness or donate any supplies they might need.
2. Donate responsibly
Before you start promoting a drive for clothes, toys and other physical items - contact the relief organisation.
Sometimes it can lead to waste when so many other people are donating the same thing.
Find out what is really needed on the ground, or play it safe and donate money. This way the organisation can use the funds where they are needed the most.
If you don't have enough money to donate, create an online fundraiser with sites like GoFundMe. Or if you're on the ground, blood is always needed. Find a local blood drive and go donate.
3. Remember the animals
Humans aren't the only ones that are affected by natural disasters. During these tragic times, pets are often separated from their owners, and wild animals are injured.
As a result, animal welfare organisations often need volunteers, donations and other kinds of support. Get in contact with a few on the ground and see what you can do to help.
4. Keep on travelling
When natural disasters happen, like Thailand's devastating 2005 tsunami, tourism takes a hit.
Many of the locals not only have to deal with losing their homes and but now they've also lost their only income stream.
This is why it's vital to keep travelling to these destinations. Without our tourism dollars, it creates an economic tsunami, and it becomes even harder for these vulnerable communities to recover.
5. Every bit of kindness helps.
No matter what you decide to do, the fact that you are doing something will go a long way. Instead of putting your travel plans to these destinations on hold, bump them up to the top spot on your bucket list.
You can be assured that any money you spend will go to the people that need it the most. You'll also show people that the destination is safe and encourage others to return.
From donating funds to helping to keep the tourism industry alive, it all works together to help these destinations rebuild and recover.
Have you ever found yourself in a natural disaster or volunteered to help those in need? Let us know and we can feature your story!