Frequently Asked Questions
Why was Storm Assist created?
Storm Assist was started by a group of chasers that saw the need for giving back to victims of natural disasters. Inspired by the “Storms Of” charity series that eventually stopped 4 years ago…we’ve sought to bring a new direction to giving back and feel that there’s a large need for it with the number of people affected by natural disasters every year. We’re now the face of charitable donations for storm chasers across the world and take strong pride in knowing that our 100% volunteer organization is making a difference.
Are you donating the profits from sales to the Red Cross?
In most instances, we will not be donating money to the Red Cross. It’s our goal to get as directly involved with local organizations and individuals as we can. By doing this we feel we’re connecting on a more personal level with victims of natural disasters. We also want to avoid as much money going to overhead costs as possible so we prefer to take a more direct route with the donations Storm Assist makes to damaged areas.
Aren’t storm chasers crazy and only care about getting video of tornadoes when they do damage?
The vast majority of storm chasers are completely normal people who simply have a passion for the atmosphere and seeing its beauty. You find chasers that are doctors, authors, teachers, and pretty much any other occupation that chase storms and also contribute to this project. Seeing damage is the last thing that a storm chaser wants to see but if damage does happen a majority of the time storm chasers are the first people on scene and risk their lives to help those affected. Tornadoes and other weather events are going to happen whether storm chasers are there or not. We’d much rather see them in open fields not doing damage when they happen. If they do, we’re there to help. Storm Assist is another way of giving back.
Who contributes to Storm Assist?
We could not accomplish anything without the help of everyone. It’s not just the work of storm chasers, but the support of the general public and communities that enables us to help tornado victims. The only requirement is that video and photo contributors to Storm Assist be storm chasers. Dozens of chasers have contributed their time and effort to make our effort a worthwhile one. The success of the project depends on the contributions and volunteered time that those involved with the project give and don’t expect anything in return. The video and photos that are donated to create the DVDs and calendars that you see on the website are given for Storm Assist’s use for the sole purpose of raising money for those in need.
Are you a 501(c)3 organization?
Yes. We are a 501(c)(3). Storm Assist officially filed an IRS Form 1023 application to become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization in November of 2013 and has been approved. Storm Assist, Inc. is a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Colorado.
What does that mean for our donations?
As a 501(c)(3) we are allowed to operate as a tax-exempt organization and your donations will be tax deductible.
Are you affiliated with the National Weather Service or any other organization?
We are a stand-alone, independent organization that is not affiliated with any other entity at this time. While we encourage partnerships with companies and other organizations, Storm Assist does not have any official ties to any other entity than our own.
Are you first responders to natural disasters when they occur?
While storm chasers are often first on the scene after a tornado has occurred, Storm Assist members and contributors do not act as first responders in an official capacity related to Storm Assist. It’s our goal to help out financially to victims in the days after a disaster has occurred. If any team members are involved in administering medical help, participating in cleanup assistance or any other form of emergency response, they are acting independently and not as a representative of Storm Assist.
Are you trying to compete with other storm chasers when you sell merchandise or other goods?
Absolutely not, our only goal is to raise money for those in need. We hope it’s the opposite and we raise the visibility of the beautiful photos and videos that storm chasers take and this encourages the public to buy their goods if they see it in the products we offer. We don’t directly promote products other than our own, unless it’s to the benefit of a sponsor that’s helped Storm Assist out in some way.