How to help people affected by Hurricane Irma

By Hannah Barnard on 12th September, 2017

Hurricane Irma has torn through the Caribbean and Florida leaving devastation in its wake. Millions of people now face homelessness and are without power and water.

Hurricane Irma

Intense rains cause floods at the town of Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Oxfam’s teams are assessing the needs of the most vulnerable people in the hardest-hit areas.

Hurricane Irma was the strongest Atlantic storm ever recorded, and children and families across the region have endured extreme winds, flooding, landslides and storm surges.  With roads, homes and schools destroyed, essential services have been cut off and families are without essential supplies like clean water.

Several charitable organizations are seeking relief support, here are three ways you can help.

1. Donate to a distaster-relief nonprofit

A number of organizations are raising funds to help those affected by Hurricane Irma, including UNICEF which is distributing emergency supplies to affected areas and after the storm will focus on getting children back to school. The Salvation Army is seeking funds for food trucks and disaster relief teams and Oxfam has teams stationed throughout the Caribbean supporting local partners to provide safe water and sanitation.

2. Become a volunteer

In additions to donations, the American Red Cross is asking for volunteers to help in Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. You can also sign up to volunteer with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster site.

3. Support crowdfunding campaign

Crowdfunding website Global Giving is hoping to raise $2,000,000 to support recovery and relief efforts for Hurricane Irma. Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations responding to this disaster.

For more information on how you can help the Center for International Disaster Information, part of the U.S. Agency for International Development, has some tips on the best way to aid disaster relief efforts.