How to help the victims of Hurricane Michael

Things may be slowly improving but there is still alot of need where Michael hit.

Here is a list of some of the groups responding to the disaster and ways you can help:

The American Red Cross is providing food and shelter to evacuees in multiple states. The group has mobilized 140 emergency response vehicles and more than 120 trailers of equipment and supplies. More than 150 blood drives in the storm's path have been canceled through early next week, so the Red Cross is appealing for people to also donate blood. 

United Way Worldwide has a Hurricane Michael Recovery Fund to provide a single clearinghouse for individual and corporate donors to support communities in the storm's path.  United Way also offers a free 24/7 hotline – 211 – for people seeking shelter, food and water and other basic needs before, during and after the storm. 

World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, has staff on the ground in the Carolinas and has shipped six truckloads of relief supplies to be delivered through local church and community partners to reach at least 9,000 people. The supplies include food, clean water, personal hygiene items, diapers and flood cleanup kits. 

Samaritan's Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid group, is deploying teams of staff and volunteers in hard-hit areas in Florida to help homeowners with cleanup, such as tarping roofs and clearing yards of debris. 

The Salvation Army has more than 50 mobile feeding units positioned along the coast . The group is sending food to evacuation shelters as well as feeding first responders. 

Save the Children, an international children's agency, has a team on the ground in Florida that will focus on the needs of young people during and after the storm such as setting up child-friendly spaces in evacuation shelters. 

The Humane Society of the United States is helping animals escape the storm. The animal rescue team is also ready to deploy for search and rescues in hard-hit areas.

Charity Navigator, an independent watchdog that appraises charities based on their tax filings, lists these groups responding to Florence that hold a three- or four-star rating. You can find the list here. The group advises people to research relief organizations before making a donation.

Pay with credit card so you can request a chargeback if necessary

  • Never pay via wire transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram)
  • Paypal offers a certain degree of fraud protection
  • Credit cards will often allow disputes and charge-backs from issuing bank

Don’t be shy about a donation that feels paltry: “even just a little bit goes to help people’s needs and aid in recovery.”

And if you can’t donate or volunteer now, do it later. This recovery process will be a long haul.

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