Hurricane Florence's Destruction Is Far From Over. Here's How You Can Help Those Affected By the Storm
From pollution concerns due to flooded hog farms and coal ash dumps to towns covered by up to 30 inches of rain, the communities and people that were in Hurricane Florence's path need help.
And the flooding and devastation caused by Tropical Depression Florence, which was downgraded from a category 1 hurricane on Saturday, is far from over. As of Tuesday, at least 32 people are dead in North and South Carolina following Florence's destruction to the area.
Major flooding is expected to linger for at least the rest of the week, and that comes after Florence produced one of the largest rainfalls on record — almost three feet in some places — for the Carolinas, according to the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center (NWS WPC).
Here are some ways you can help the victims of Florence by donating to organizations — including groups with near-perfect ratings by Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization that analyzes data such as a charity's financial health, accountability and transparency to evaluate the support it can provide.
The American Red Cross
With its wide national presence, The American Red Cross wasted no time in its relief effort for those affected by Florence, partnering with local groups to provide food for whoever needs it.
Thousands of people in North and South Carolina have already sought refuge in the Red Cross' shelters. The organization has also launched more than 100 emergency response vehicles, according to its website.
To donate to The American Red Cross' Florence relief fund, you can go to their website or donate over the phone by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting "FLORENCE" to 90999. When calling or donating online, make sure to designate your donation to Florence relief efforts.
In addition to monetary donations, The Red Cross is also asking people to give blood, as almost 200 blood drives have been cancelled due to the storm. The organization says there is "a critical need for platelet and type O blood donations" specifically.
To donate blood, you can make an appointment online or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
World Hope International
A Christian relief fund whose mission is to aid impoverished communities, World Hope International (WHI) has also provided relief for major hurricanes that hit the United States in recent memory, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The organization's response to Tropical Depression Florence was no different. WHI's Florence relief fund will go toward distributing food, water, tarps and more to the affected areas, according to its website.
WHI partners with other churches and corporate sponsors to provide support. To donate to World Hope International, you can use its website, call the organization at 888-466-HOPE, or mail a check to WHI's PO box.
Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina
In addition to donating money, donating food is an important way to support victims of natural disasters. The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has been active in dozens of communities in North and South Carolina for more than 35 years, according to Charity Navigator.
To give a monetary donation to the Food Bank, you can either donate funds online or mail a check to the organizations headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. You can donate food items directly to the Food Bank online with this virtual food drive. If you live locally, you can also donate at one of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina's open locations. As of Tuesday, due to safety concerns, the Greenville, Durham, and Raleigh branches in North Carolina will be open.
Local chapters of Habitat for Humanity are also accepting donations for the Food Bank.
World Relief is a Christian nonprofit organization that typically provides relief for immigrants and refugees. The group's website states that American citizens are "uniquely vulnerable" due to the effects of Tropical Depression Florence, which is why they have established an emergency fund for the cause.
World Relief, which has a score of 100% for its accountability from Charity Navigator, says it will donate its profits to local churches in affected areas that are participating in the immediate medical and financial response. Donations can be made on World Relief's website.
One SC Fund
In South Carolina, the One SC Fund works to support the state by funding nonprofits with grants during state-declared emergencies. For Tropical Depression Florence relief, the One SC Fund is accepting donations online. The Fund states these donations will support other nonprofits "that are, and will be, responding to the needs of individuals affected by Hurricane Florence."
The One SC Fund, which is not yet rated by Charity Navigator, is run by the Central Carolina Community Foundation and it was created by former Gov. Nikki Haley in 2015.