You can donate to dozens of well-established disaster relief organizations on the ground helping Hurricane Sandy victims. Most of the organizations help with specific relief efforts, including emergency food and housing, medical response, search and rescue, and even animal rescue.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster lists both national relief organizations and state-specific organizations at www.nvoad.org/help.

Different areas on the East Coast are running short on specific supplies, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Visit FEMA's National Donations Management Network, at www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/FEMA.

The American Red Cross is asking people to donate blood, money and other supplies. Visit www.redcross.org to learn how to help.

Before making a monetary donation, research the charities. Before giving money, confirm a charity is registered at www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov, or at www.guidestar.org -- a national database of charities.

Follow the Attorney General's donation tips:

• Do not give out personal information such as credit card or bank account numbers over the phone.

• Beware of callers who want your money fast. Always ask the caller to send you written materials about the charity. No legitimate organization will insist that you donate immediately.

• Do not donate cash. Legitimate charities will be pleased to receive a contribution by check, which should be made out to the organization, not the person asking for the donation. Don't send contributions with a 'runner," by wire or overnight parcel pick-up service.

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