Many climate scientists have pointed to the probable links between climate change and increased hurricane intensity. This year’s hurricane season has been particularly devastating to communities across the U.S. and Caribbean islands. Here we provide some links to places to donate to help with relief and recovery efforts.
In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of southern Texas and Louisiana, causing over 80 deaths and thousands more to lose their homes. In mid September, Hurricane Irma swept across multiple Caribbean islands and Florida, causing over 50 deaths in Florida alone, 1,000,000 to lose power across Puerto Rico, and damage to buildings and infrastructure in countless communities. In late September, Hurricane Maria hit Dominica, Puerto Rico, and other communities, becoming the strongest hurricane to hit U.S. territory since 1928. In Puerto Rico, Hurricanes Irma and Maria have caused what many are calling a severe humanitarian crisis.
The impacts of these hurricanes continue to unfold. Here are some places donate to ensure your support reaches those who need it. To have the greatest impact, consider donating money instead of supplies, which allows organizations to acquire and transport resources efficiently.
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmet to support local relief efforts.
United Way of Greater Houston established a flood relief fund to support both immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts.
Puerto Rico and other affected islands:
Unidos, by the Hispanic Federation - Relief fund to support Puerto Ricans that was started by New York and Puerto Rico elected officials in conjunction with the Hispanic Federation; donations will be directed to community organizations in Puerto Rico.
Fund for the Virgin Islands - Nonprofit that will direct funds to support both short-term relief and long-term recovery efforts in the Virgin Islands.
Unidos por Puerto Rico - Fund created by Beatriz Rosselló, the first lady of Puerto Rico, to support Puerto Ricans affected by hurricanes Maria and Irma.
All Hands Volunteers - organization that supports and convenes local volunteer groups to rebuild after natural disasters and is directing help toward the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Direct Relief is distributing emergency health kits, funding, and other medical relief to health clinics and communities in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
GlobalGiving is raising money to provide support local organizational efforts in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has established disaster relief funds for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that aim to invest in long-term recovery efforts and help fill gaps in existing relief efforts.
SBP is an organization based in New Orleans helping to rebuild houses after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
American Red Cross is also accepting donations.
If you are interested in supporting an organization not listed here, always research before you donate to avoid scams. A good place to start is Charity Navigator, which has a list of organizations responding after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and also maintains a database of nonprofits.
Photo: IMG_0980, (c) Dave Thomas, (CC BY-NC 2.0)