The past two weeks have seen a deluge of terrible weather that has caused vast amounts of damage and devastation. Although Hurricane Jose’s path is still unclear (find updates here), Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented flooding decimated parts of Texas and damaged southwest Louisiana, while Hurricane Irma has left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean and Florida. Feeling helpless? Here are four ways to help those affected, right this second.
The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) says that monetary donations are the best way to help people and support relief efforts. Donate what you can to a legitimate charity or relief organization like UNICEF or the American Red Cross. Find organizations you can trust by checking Charity Navigator. And remember, any amount helps.
Find a Local Organization
While national organizations do a ton of good, donating to a local group can be the best way to ensure you’re addressing specific communities’ needs. We love the Texas Diaper Bank, an organization that provides vital supplies to babies and the elderly. Other good options: Feeding Florida, a group that works with food banks across the state, and the Puerto Rican nonprofit ConPRmetidos, which provides relief to communities impacted by the hurricane.
Sign Up to Donate Blood
Demand for blood can rise during disasters, especially when patients are evacuated from hospitals. Find a blood drive near you on the Red Cross website or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Around 6.5 million people were ordered by Florida officials to evacuate, and many Texans have been unable to return to their homes since Harvey arrived on August 25. Airbnb is seeking out homeowners in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and northern Georgia who are willing to offer free shelter to folks who have been displaced, as well as to relief workers and volunteers. Find more information here.