Hurricane Florence, dubbed a “storm of a lifetime,” is currently pounding the Carolinas and neighboring states. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated leading up to the storm making landfall early Friday morning, and the storm’s powerful winds are causing massive flooding and damage to cities across the area.
First responders have rushed to save residents that did not evacuate in time, who have stranded by relentless rains, dangerous 10-foot storm surges and 90-mph winds. According to CNN, more than 100 people have already been rescued from the coastal town of New Bern. The surge is expected to last until Saturday, a grueling two-day span that will see up to 40 inches of rainfall. Though the storm will be short-lived, its effects will last for a long time to come.
“This is an uninvited brute who just won’t leave,” Gov. Roy Cooper told Today on Friday. “We have a significant storm surge that’s pressing against a big river with historic rains on top of that. That water has nowhere else to go… Even when the storm moves through, the rivers will continue to rise. We can’t be complacent when the sun comes out because this rain is going to increase the levels of our rivers, some of them predicted to get to historic levels. We know there will be flooding in the weeks after the storm.”
First responders and displaced residents will need help now and into the coming weeks. For ways you can help in relief efforts, here are a collection of organizations that are working first hand to bring aid and recovery to the region.
American Red Cross
If you would like to provide monetary funds to the relief efforts, one of the easiest ways is through the Red Cross. By visiting their website, you can send in a donation that will help some of the organization’s 1,500 disaster workers who have been deployed to the area. You can also give $10 by simply texting “FLORENCE” to 90999.
RELATED VIDEO: Hurricane Florence Weakened but Still Expected to Be Devastating as Some Refuse to Evacuate
North Carolina Community Foundation
The North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF) partners with local organizations and is inviting people to donate to the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund, which will be given to local nonprofits within the state. “All resources go to granting; we hold nothing back for administration,” the organization tweeted. You can contribute through their website here.
Americares is collecting donations for emergency medicine and supplies, and people can donate here.
“The storm is on track to make a direct hit on the East Coast and impact much of the southern United States in the coming days,” Americares Director of Emergency Response Brian Scheel said in a statement according to ABC. “Our response team has been activated and is ready to meet the immediate health needs in affected communities.”
Team Rubicon has nearly 10,000 volunteers in the Virginia and Carolinas region and is manned by military veterans hoping to provide aid during disasters. “We’ve positioned rescue boats and heavy equipment along the coast,” the organization announced on their website. You can donate to their efforts here.
Civilian Crisis Response Team
Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team are rescuing people from the flood waters and are helping to distribute diapers, blankets and clean clothing to survivors. The organization relies on donations to operate — you can donate here.
Charleston Animal Society
As past storms have shown, animals are often abandoned or lost during disasters, and many will need rescuing of their own. The Charleston Animal Society is on hand to help in rescue efforts, which will likely be used for supplies and food for the dogs, cats and other animals affected by the rising waters.
If you would like to donate, head to their website.
American Humane is another highly-rated organizations helping with rescue efforts for animals. Donate here.