As Hurricane Florence roars toward the East Coast, all eyes are on the Carolinas and Virginia. People in the path of this Category 4 hurricane need all the support they can get. Thankfully, though, learning how to help Hurricane Florence evacuees may be easier than you realize. People fleeing a storm need all kinds of support.
At this time, Hurricane Florence may be one of the strongest hurricanes on record to hit the East Coast, with up to 40 inches of rain predicted, according to The Weather Channel. The massive storm is unlike most anything people living in those areas have experienced. At this point, everyone will have to wait and see what the storm actually does when it makes landfall.
Although the people and communities who endure a direct hit from the storm will need help — and they certainly will — those who are evacuating are also in a vulnerable spot. Leaving your home to an uncertain future, and trying to find a safe space for you and your family to stay in the meantime, is its own special level of terrifying. Hotels get expensive, and they fill up fast along evacuation routes. It's a spooky, weird situation for every evacuee. Read on to learn about the many ways you can help make their journey a little easier.
1. Donate Money
A little monetary donation can go a long way toward relief for evacuees. Giving is also super simple. For instance, it's possible to donate directly to people affected by Hurricane Florence on the Red Cross website. Just click the Hurricane Florence tab in the "I Want to Support" dropdown menu. The organization Americares also offers Hurricane Florence relief.
2. Open Your Home
Granted, this option isn't right for everyone. But some generous souls are opening their homes to evacuees who need shelter. "We've fled our share of Hurricanes. And we know the cost of staying in a hotel and having to eat out can quickly add up at a time when anxiety, fear and uncertainty is high," said Robert Riker, who offered his home to evacuees, in CNN. If you're in a position to help, the Hurricane Florence 2018 Jacksonville, NC and Hurricane Florence Lodging For Evacuees Facebook groups are good places to start.
3. Join Local Relief Efforts
Every community has its share of awesome humanitarian organizations. Check with your local charities and other orgs to see if anyone has organized a donation or drive for Hurricane Florence evacuees. If not, consider starting your own.
4. Get Your Business Involved
Sometimes just giving people a little break can help a lot, and plenty of businesses are finding ways to help evacuees. For instance, airlines have waived baggage and pet fees, whereas many Airbnb hosts are opening their homes to evacuees for free, as noted in CNN. Is there something similar your organization can do to give evacuees a break?
5. Adopt A Shelter Animal
Some Hurricane Florence evacuees are of the four-legged variety, and domesticated animals can be especially vulnerable during major disasters. Shelter animals evacuated from the South Carolina coast region need permanent homes, as noted in Greenville Online. The Greenville Humane Society is offering a Hurricane Florence Relief adoption special until September 14. If you don't have space for an extra pet right now, then donations of cash or anything from the Greenville Humane Society shelter's wish list are greatly appreciated. Even if you can only give a little bit, everything helps those in the disaster zones right now.