One issue with direct donations is the potential for fraud; malicious people can fake harm from a disaster for their undeserved financial gain. They could falsely claim to live in an impacted area, or take on the identity of someone harmed or from an aid organization, which recently occurred in Southern California
This, unfortunately, makes those who want to help wary of donating anywhere but to the most established aid organizations. However, you can often have a bigger impact working more locally, and it's wonderful to directly help families. BitClave's donor matching service
mitigates the risk of fraud by verifying the names of those impacted by disasters. This way, you know that what you give is really going to someone in need.