7 Unique Ways You Can Help Hurricane Victims

Photo by Jasmine Dowling
The United States has just been slammed with two catastrophic hurricanes.
Most recently the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic struck the Caribbean Islands and Florida, ripping apart the homes and lives of millions.
The Category 5 France-sized storm has thrashed a string of islands with 180mph winds and pounding rain, flattening hospitals, airports and homes, all before hitting Florida Sunday evening where it took out the power to 5.8 million homes and businesses.
Striking before and after photos from space revealed the awe-inspiring power of Hurricane Irma.
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A stunningly serene capture of Turks and Caicos shot by astronaut Randy Bresnik just a week before the hurricane.
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A dismantled and destroyed seabed following the storm. Photo by Randy Bresnik
We’ve all seen and heard the news and feel deeply for all those that remain affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

 

You may feel overwhelmed, like there’s not much you can doΒ toΒ help, but even a small gesture could mean the worldΒ toΒ someone who has lost everything.Β Here are some of the most unique and best ways to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma:

1. Help your furry friends in need

      • Foster a hurricane pet for a family that has lost everything in the destruction of Harvey or Irma and now has no way of taking care of their beloved friend.
      • If you’ve been considering adopting a pet, now might be the best time as you can adopt a pet that has lost its owner. Animal welfare organizations around the country are mobilizing to help areas impacted by the recent hurricanes, and New Jersey based St. Hubert’s Center has listed 12 Northeast animal shelters welcoming abandoned pets. Check with your local shelters to see if they’ve joined in the cause.
      • If you live in one of the affected areas, you can help lost pets find their owners with Finding Rover by uploading their photo and location into the Lost & Found database.
      • You can also call 713-861-3010 to alert the Houston SPCA of an animal in danger.

2. Post, Blog or Vlog

Be an advocate for the cause. Spread the word on social media about how others can help. Even if you can’t spend a dollar, you might inspire 1 or 2 that can and then you’ve made a real, tangible impact.

3. Send supplies

Emergency Kit for Hurricane Victims
If the personal touch is more your thing, go shopping and hand-pick and some important supplies hurricane survivors need and find a trusted organization that is on the ground providing relief to send them to. Items suggested include

      • First Aid Kits
      • Bottled Water
      • Soap
      • Backpacks/bags
      • Baby wipes
      • Diapers
      • Razors
      • Socks
      • Pet Food
      • Blankets
      • Trash Bags
      • Flashlights
      • Batteries
      • Toothpaste & toothbrush
      • Hand Sanitizer

4. Give blood

small good things #donateblood #veripalvelu

A post shared by Inka PitkΓ€nen (@inkamirjam) on

You can find a local blood drive on theΒ Red Cross website, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or by using the Red Cross blood donor app.

5. Open your home

Open your doors and offer free accommodations to your neighbors in the US and the Carribbean through AirBnB. The service waiving all fees until September 25th.

6. Register to be a Volunteer

If you’re able, one of the most rewarding ways you’ll be able to contribute is by physically being there on the front lines to help. Recovery efforts could take years and organizations aiding in rebuilding destroyed communities can use all the volunteers they can get. Just make sure you register first and receive instructions before showing up.
    • Sign up to join the hurricane recovery volunteer registryΒ for Habitat for Humanity
    • American Red Cross is seeking volunteers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.
    • Register to be a volunteer for Volunteer Florida, theΒ state’s lead agency for volunteers and donations before, during, and after disasters and have a tangible impact by being there to lend a hand to those displaced by the storm.

7. Donate cash to a trusted organization in a position to help

Donate to help the islands
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  • With as many as 3 million affected on the island of Haiti, OXFAM is providing relief to help victims recover from Irma and brace for Hurricane Jose, as well as ensure victims of affected communities get adequate assistance to rebuild better. They have teams also set to respond in the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
  • On the island of Barbuda, over 90% of the home dwellings have been destroyed. Β American University of Antigua is raising money for the Barbuda Relief Fund to provide emergency supplies to victims and has promised to match all donations.
  • It could be four months before power is restored in Puerto Rico. All donations made to local Puerto Rican non-profit ConPRmetidos will exclusively support victims of Hurricane Irma in PR.
Donate to help the children
  • Save the Children is responding to the unique needs of vulnerable children and families in crisis.
  • UNICEFΒ has estimated that over 10.5 million children will be caught up in the devastation of Irma and will be helping children affected by the hurricane resume education in the weeks and months ahead.
Donate to help the animals

A post shared by humanesociety (@humanesociety) on

      • Give to the Humane SocietyΒ to help the Animal Rescue Team rescue and provide temporary shelter for displaced pets and animals in desperate need.
      • Help the Best friend Animal Society fulfill its mission to #SaveThemAll
      • Donate to the SPCA International Disaster Relief Fund to aid shelters and rescue groups as they struggle to cope with the amount of abandoned and displaced animals affected by the natural disaster.
      • Donate to Harvey’s Heroes to lend a hand to the San Antonio Humane Society in recovery and relief efforts for kittens, puppies, cats and dogs in need of care.
      • Give to the Houston Humane Society through the Hurricane Harvey Fund.
“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy; true fulfillment.” – Tony Robbins
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.

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