Two of the most damaging hurricanes in US history have just slammed our coastlines, causing billions of dollars in damages and ruining thousands of lives.
It’s now estimated that Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana (the largest rainstorm in recorded history), destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 70 people.
Hurricane Irma inflicted more wide-spread chaos, including the destruction of entire homes and villages in the Carribean, Florida Keys, and South Florida, the loss of power for thousands throughout the southeast, and record flooding in Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC from storm surges. It’s now estimated that the storm caused over $14 billion in damages and killed at least 53 people.
While the storms are now over, the relief work is just getting started.
Here are the top 5 ways Charlotteans can help the victims of Hurrican Irma and Harvey.
#1 Give Blood
With hundreds of people hospitalized from the hurricanes, and power outages and flooding destroying entire blood supplies through the southeast, the need for donations is now higher than ever.
Check out these awesome donors @RockCoHS today! They came out to give & support their family member/blood drive host, Ms. Whitesell! #Heroes pic.twitter.com/iamkX1qDeG
— CommunityBloodCenter (@CBCCarolinas) September 15, 2017
Not all superheroes wear capes! Help us meet the #UrgentNeed for all blood types. Appts: https://t.co/4xoyWCZBln pic.twitter.com/uYIcxbuj6u
— Red Cross Carolinas (@ARCBloodCAR) September 15, 2017
#2 Help The Animals
Thousands of pets were left behind by people rushing to evacuation or escaping flooded homes. Consider donating to some of the most active charities that are now caring for lost and hungry pets are the ASPCA, Best Friends and South Florida Wildlife Center.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, ASPCA responders help reunite families with their lost pets. Read more: https://t.co/Yg0xrfiGuT pic.twitter.com/CpmhevRrMJ
— ASPCA (@ASPCA) September 13, 2017
#3 Open Your Home
Airbnb is looking for housing for those who are still displaced by the storms. If you can provide shelter, please consider making your home available at airbnb.com/welcome/evacuees
If you’re in a safe area, please consider opening your home to evacuees of #HurricaneHarvey #HurricaneIrma here https://t.co/NHw9AojUz8 ❤️🙏🏠 pic.twitter.com/3KHLQyBwAd
— Tony Robbins (@TonyRobbins) September 14, 2017
#4 Help Rebuild
Sign up at Habitat for Humanity’s Hurricane Recovery Volunteer Registry to serve as a volunteer when teams are deployed.
You can also join a Samaritan’s Purse team on a short-term relief work trip;
#Volunteer in #Florida to help families devastated from the damage left by #HurricaneIrma. Sign up here! https://t.co/MndTqpEMl0
— Samaritan’s Purse (@SamaritansPurse) September 13, 2017
We are committed to help families in #Texas recover after #HurricaneHarvey. Learn more and see how you can help: https://t.co/DMj6cBC9fz pic.twitter.com/GFUFNpWleZ
— Samaritan’s Purse (@SamaritansPurse) September 14, 2017
#5 Give To Relief Efforts
Convoy of Hope:
Our great friends in Haiti at Mission of Hope and students from a local orphanage helped us pack supplies for #HurricaneIrma survivors. pic.twitter.com/epS2A7kTKO
— Convoy of Hope (@ConvoyofHope) September 13, 2017
Donate $10 to our #HurricaneIrma response by texting “IRMA” to 50555. pic.twitter.com/QmIIsrMB6C
— Convoy of Hope (@ConvoyofHope) September 10, 2017
Salvation Army USA:
The Salvation Army is helping distribute water, food, and supplies to those hardest hit by both Hurricanes. You can donate online at helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800 SAL-ARMY.
#HurricaneHarvey video update! Donates needed: https://t.co/BoK7x1bMas #Harvey2017 @SalArmyTXEDS @SalArmyEDS @SalvationArmyUS pic.twitter.com/b3VdAi1DD5
— Salvation Army Texas (@SalArmyTX) August 27, 2017
Save The Children:
Save the Children’s emergency responders are seeking donations to help kids and families whose lives will be impacted by the hurricane.
We’re in Texas setting up Child Friendly Spaces in evacuation shelters to help kids & families affected by #HurricaneHarvey. Please donate. pic.twitter.com/6NFzcWV4Na
— Save the Children US (@SavetheChildren) August 28, 2017
You can either donate online, or volunteer to travel down with a team from Boone, NC to help in person with relief efforts:
We are responding to help families devastated by #HurricaneHarvey. Learn more and see how you can help. https://t.co/qAkajnMFNu
— Samaritan’s Purse (@SamaritansPurse) August 27, 2017
American Red Cross:
The Red Cross has already helped over 1,800 people in 35 Red Cross shelters in Texas. You can help them by giving online or by donating blood at a local Red Cross center;
Help those affected by #HurricaneHarvey. Visit https://t.co/IwTsENcx2z, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. pic.twitter.com/r4qSn8byXj
— American Red Cross (@RedCross) August 26, 2017
North American Mission Board:
The North American Mission Board is now on the ground in Texas, preparing thousands of hot meals and performing mud-out, chainsaw and cleaning services to restore survivors’ homes.
Please spread the word and continue to pray for Texas, Florida, the Carribean, and the rest of the South East!