HOW TO HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS RIGHT NOW

The recent destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean Islands and Florida means a long road to recovery. The catastrophic path taken by both storms has affected millions of people, displacing families from homes in some cases and completely destroying them in others. Those of us in Mobile are long familiar with the effects of hurricanes and can sympathize. Perhaps more importantly—at least in this case—is our unique position geographically. Existing in between both Texas and Florida, we here in lower Alabama can go east and west to help those in need. When we see our fellow man in trouble the natural response is to want to reach out and lend a hand in any way possible. There can be so many options for doing this, although it can become overwhelming. Find out how to help hurricane victims right now with these tips from Mobile Bay Local then choose the one that best falls in your area of expertise or ability.

 

  • Give to the Red Cross
    • The Red Cross is one of the most recognizable organizations worldwide and has built a reputation over the years as one of the most trusted. The Red Cross now has a system set up to make it easier than ever to donate, simply by texting the name of the disaster—in this case Harvey or Irma—to 90999 to give $10 (the amount is reflected on your next bill). While many like to see what they’re giving and opt for clothes, these donations start to pile up until there’s only loads of unnecessary clothes and nothing to help with major damage. Those at the Red Cross and other fine organizations have protocols and experience to quickly and effectively help in times of need. By donating to them you’re helping them put that money towards the most pressing issues. Don’t just give to any organization though as some scams will arise during this time. Do your research and only give to those that have a proven record or plan.
  • Donate Time to Clean Up
    • Before we can even start to think about donating items, there needs to be a place to put everything. Hurricanes are unique in that they cause both massive wind and flood damage. This can be daunting to clean up and generally takes leagues of volunteers. If you’re able, take a trip to Texas and/or Florida, even if it’s only for a day or two. Help someone clean out their home, get rid of ruined sheetrock or moldy carpet, and the like. Not properly cleaning up can cause problems ten-fold down the road so get as many hands on deck as possible in this area.
  • Assist Local Churches
    • Like the Red Cross and other organizations, many local churches are adept at assisting after natural disasters. Some have certain areas of expertise while others are plugged in through networks to other communities. Churches will often take trips to help with the clean up and give donations, so find one that you trust and ask how they’re helping those in Texas and Florida. Volunteer with them and you’ll be utilized in whatever way is most needed at that time.
  • Take in Animals
    • It’s not only humans that are displaced after a disaster, but animals too. A family pet can bring comfort after catastrophe. On the flip side, knowing they’re in danger can cause more angst. If you have the space and patience, volunteer to be a foster home for pets and take care of them while families get back on their feet. This isn’t just for dogs and cats either; horses and other large animals are harder to transport so are usually left to their own devices during a storm. If you have a farm, consider helping rescue and house these animals afterwards.

 

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