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Just as hurricane season was nearing its end, Hurricane Michael surprised the southeastern states with a quick formation in the Gulf Coast that devastated the Florida Panhandle. What started as a tropical storm grew into category 4 hurricane as the warm Gulf of Mexico waters fueled the storm, causing local, state, and national officials to urge panhandle residents to leave.

In extreme times like these, Hurricane victims undergo a lot of emotional and physical damage. Whether it’s damage to their homes, loss of personal belongings, or injuries from the storm, there are families and individuals in dire need of help. Luckily, there are several organizations that are helping North Florida recover from the utter devastation caused by Hurricane Michael.

Airbnb

Airbnb is providing relief for people and families who have been urged to evacuate or experienced damage to their home. Airbnb is encouraging its hosts to temporarily open their homes for free – providing shelter for those whose homes were swept away by heavy rain, whipping wind, and a storm surge that no low lying home could survive. There have been over 800 hosts that have followed through, going above and beyond to help evacuees throughout Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Disney

The Walt Disney Company has donated $1 million to the state’s relief fund to aid in the recovery from Hurricane Michael’s damage. The state of Florida’s private fund solely exists to assist Florida communities when disasters or state emergencies occur. This million dollar donation will be going toward the Florida Disaster Fund. To help their recovery efforts, please donate to this fund here.

Relief Charities

Whenever disasters strike, local and national charities break into action – helping those in need in the most desolate areas. Each of these charities relies on a steady fund of money and resources to allow them to help in the recovery. If you choose to donate to a charity, be sure to conduct research beforehand. Unfortunately, scams and fraud tend to arise when natural disasters occur. Some trusted and highly-rated charities include:

  1. American Kidney Fund: In wake of Hurricane Michael, the American Kidney Fund is accepting donations to provide patients with all expenses for treatment, replacement of any lost medications during the storm, or provide temporary housing.
  2. American Red Cross: This charity is accepting donations to provide emergency supplies and relief kits, overnight shelter stays, and meals to victims that have been affected by the storm. Along with money donations, they have blood donation centers in which they collect blood for any injured victims.
  3. Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF): The CHF assists those children who were impacted by providing relief items along with financial help. Churches, individuals, and businesses can help those in crisis by donating here.
  4. SBP: The volunteers that work for SBP’s main focus is to help rebuild and repair any damage that has been done to affected areas. They are accepting monetary donations to go toward tools for gutting and mold remediation in order to rebuild homes. You can donate to SBP’s mission here.
  5. Global Giving: Global Giving is responding to immediate needs for food, water, shelter, fuel, hygiene products, and shelter. They focus on short and long-term recovery for people in vulnerable areas. They are accepting donations to reach their $2M goal.

Before you donate, make sure to do your research, especially if you plan on donating to a smaller, less well-known charity.

You Can Help

Whether it’s donating blood, sending money, or providing food for Hurricane Michael victims, there is always a way to help. To explore more organizations helping out, visit Charity Navigator to see which organizations are collecting donations for victims of Hurricane Michael.

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