Hurricane Idalia: How to help

Now that Hurricane Idalia has moved out of Florida and is on the way to the Atlantic, those who were in the middle of the wind and surges have to pick up the pieces.

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There are several ways you can help the victims of the storm.

CNN has set up an “Impact Your World” fund to help support relief efforts. Donated money can be split among multiple nonprofits or can be earmarked for a specific group including the American Red Cross, Airlink or Operation Bbq Relief.

The state of Florida has launched its Florida Disaster Fund to help Idalia-affected communities. It is part of the Volunteer Florida Foundation.

The American Red Cross is once again accepting donations to help people who were impacted by Idalia’s path. You can mark it specifically for “Hurricane Idalia” using the website’s dropdown, The New York Times reported. If you don’t want to donate online, you can call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or text IDALIA to 90999 to make a $10 donation, USA Today reported. The Red Cross also said that blood donations will be “critically important” because the hurricane forced the cancelation of blood drives.

The Salvation Army has deployed its response teams in Lakeland, Florida. The organization is accepting donations.

CARE is giving emergency cash assistance so people can get food, water, housing and supplies, as well as distributing supplies.

Mercy Chefs is on the ground providing meals to both the victims of Idalia as well as those who are helping with the recovery.

Second Harvest of the Big Bend has a disaster relief fund for Idalia victims.

Feeding Tampa Bay will distribute food to victims and people can donate via the organization’s website.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue is helping pets who were in the path of Idalia. In addition to needing monetary donations, they’re also looking for foster families to help rescue animals who were in flooded shelters.

Samaritan’s Purse has two teams with tools and equipment sent to Albany, Georgia, USA Today reported. They will be cleaning up debris, tarping roofs and making repairs. If you want to volunteer to help, click here.

GoFundMe.org has a specific “Hurricane 2023 Relief Fund” to help people prepare before and after a storm.

Keep in mind, you should vet all charities, since there could be fraudulent groups that will use a disaster to separate you from your money. To make sure you’re donating to a legitimate cause, you can visit Charity Navigator or GuideStar, to vet charities, The New York Times reported.

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