Disasters bring out the best and worst of humanity. I have been blow away by the capeless hero's in the Lone Star state. Miles of good ole boys saddling up their ATV's, RV's and boats to race towards what everyone else was running away from! That is inspiring! That is American. We shine in the face of adversity.
Where there is good there is evil and diversion of good faith donations happens every time there is a disaster. It seems the era of information has given us all homework to do. We did't go with The American Red Cross because only 3% of the donations go towards the cause to support their massive corporate structure.
The Humane Society is always a good bet, chronically under funded and forgotten when disaster strikes. Local food banks are also a good choice because they are staffed by members of the community and usually connected to the most vulnerable already.
That's how we chose to donate, a little common sense coupled with a desire to really help those who need it.