It’s been just about a year since Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, and Irma devastated the United States and Puerto Rico. And now, the 2018 hurricane season is officially underway, and the Southeast is currently gearing up for Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm heading for the coast.
AccuWeather meteorologists have predicted that Florence will hit the coasts of Virginia and North and South Carolina, making landfall around the morning of September 14th. The storm threatens to bring dangerous rip currents, strong winds, and even potential flooding. NBC News reports that states of emergency have been declared in all three states, with mandatory evacuations in place as of September 11th. Along the South Carolina coast, as many as one million people could be forced to leave as a result of the evacuation orders.
So how can you help those in Hurricane Florence’s path?
Even if you live across the country from the states being hit, there are ways to contribute to relief efforts. WSFB, a Connecticut-based CBS affiliate, notes that Red Cross volunteers from the Northeast are being deployed in anticipation of the storm, so donating to the Red Cross is a good way to help those on the front lines of hurricane relief. The charity Americares is also raising funds for relief, and Habitat for Humanity is accepting donations for local relief efforts as well.
USA Today reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be supplying aid to Hurricane Florence victims as well. While FEMA doesn’t take donations or volunteers, the agency notes that you can find organizations to donate time, money, or resources to via the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website.
If you live close to the hurricane’s path, local businesses will likely be collecting supplies for hurricane victims. In Lynchburg, Virginia, for instance, the News & Advance reports that Gleaning For The World is accepting supply donations every day from September 11th to September 15th. Checking your local newspapers or government websites is also a surefire way to find out where to donate your supplies.
As Hurricane Florence approaches, our thoughts are with the residents of Virginia and the Carolinas. Stay safe, everyone.