UPDATED – Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida panhandle and Georgia, leaving devastation in its path. Many people in these areas need help with food, water and rebuilding their homes. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by these storms.
Here are ways you can help and also ways to get help:
Ways to help:
• Milton-based food bank Feeding the Gulf Coast is collaborating with Feeding America, Feeding Florida, Bay County Emergency Management, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other disaster responders to prepare to distribute food and water in areas affected by Hurricane Michael.
• American Red Cross – The American Red Cross reports that approximately 4,000 people stayed Tuesday night in 70 Red Cross and community evacuation centers across Florida, Georgia and Alabama. To donate, go to www.redcross.org, call 800-RED CROSS or text the word MICHAEL to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations provide shelter, food, comfort and emergency support for individuals and families as they recover.
• The Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving, an organization that connects donors to vetted local charities after a disaster, launched the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund. It will meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, the fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local organizations.
Donate at www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-michael-relief-fund. The organization guarantees donations will be used for Hurricane Michael response.
• The Florida Disaster Fund was activated and is taking donations to assist the victims of Hurricane Michael. You can text DISASTER to 20222 to provide a one-time $10 donation or Disaster25 to 20222 for a $25 donation to Hurricane Michael relief efforts.
• The Southeastern USA Animal Rescue Relief organization also is collecting donations as it prepares to assist with the rescue and recovery of pets left behind in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Donate for disaster relief efforts here.
• There are many organizations and faith-based groups that have active disaster programs and need volunteers.
Go to www.volunteerflorida.org to find out how you can help.
• Charity Navigator – Here you’ll find a list of highly-rated organizations providing assistance
• Samaritan’s Purse – Samaritan’s Purse mobilizes staff and equipment and enlists thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters in the United States. They often stay behind after their initial response to rebuild or restore houses for needy families.
• To locate your local accredited community foundation, visit www.cof.org/community-foundation-locator.
• Guidestar – Learn more about charities in your local area.
• Salvation Army donations – Donations will help mobilize food trucks to feed thousands of victims and first responders and will assist the disaster relief team in setting up shelters for survivors to rest and recover.
• UNICEF USA – If you are looking to make a difference for children affected by these crises, you can give through UNICEF.
To get help:
• Feeding America – Member food banks have strategically placed food, water, and supplies across the region for families affected by the hurricane.
• Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett – Medical attention provided for uninsured and underinsured populations.
• Hope Clinic – Medical services provided in Gwinnett County regardless of a patient’s income or insurance status.
• Georgia Emergency Management Association – Get complete post-hurricane information regarding evacuation routes being used to travel south to return to your home, traffic information, fuel outages, shelter locations, as well as the ability to report damage and get help.
• Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – Able, reputable and vetted relief agencies may assist you and your neighbors in cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, insulation, flooring, furniture, appliances, tarp roofs, etc. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need. Importantly, this hotline CANNOT assist with social services such as food, clothing, shelter, insurance, or questions about FEMA registration. Volunteers work free of charge and provide the tools and equipment necessary to complete the work. To request help, call 800-451-1954.
• Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services – Free and confidential service offered to all Gwinnett County residents providing information and referrals for family issues, emergency shelter, health services, childcare, food, employment and much more.
• United Way 211 Atlanta – Hotline for assistance for evacuees of Hurricane Michael and ways to assist those affected by it.