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Flooding continues to rise in the Carolinas as the post-tropical cyclone Florence continues to dump the rain on the region. The dangerous storm has already left more than 30 dead and moved thousands of others, leaving them without electricity or shelter.
Why give money
Money is king after a disaster, says Julia Brooks, a researcher with the Harvard humanitarian initiative. The initiative analyzes and enhances the ways in which communities and professionals respond to emergencies. Brooks has studied dozens of disasters and said that often the inclination of people is to donate supplies, but doing so can actually hinder recovery efforts.
"[Supplies] often they clog transport systems; they become a burden for first responders in the area to manage, order, store and distribute, and often they are not even the things people need in the field, "Brooks said." The exception is that credible groups on the ground are asking for specific things and they are saying that they were created to receive them. "
If in doubt, he says, donating money is better.
With this in mind, the people who are trying to donate should be wary of those who are making donations and should research any organization before giving it. Charity Navigator takes over charitable organizations based on their financial ratios and can help guide decisions about the opportunity or otherwise to donate to various organizations.
Most people are familiar with important organizations such as the American Red Cross, the United Way and the Salvation Army. Here are some other respectable national organizations that also accept donations:
Gleaning for the world – Gleaning for the World provides excess and essential medical resources from corporate donors to humanitarian efforts around the world. The organization began accepting donations to the Florence hurricane before the storm made land. People can make cash donations on their website, which will be used to support the distribution of donated supplies. The organization has a score of 84 out of 100 on Charity Navigator.
GlobalGiving – The Hurricane Florence Relief Fund of this organization will initially support the immediate needs of food, fuel, water, hygiene and shelter products, and then move on to longer-term recovery efforts. GlobalGiving works by funding the relief efforts of local controlled organizations. It has a rating of 96 on Charity Navigator.
Donors choose – Donors Choose currently accepts cash donations to "help teachers take care of their students and supply their classes of materials such as books, furniture, educational materials, technology and therapeutic resources" in areas hit by the hurricane. The organization has a score of 96 out of 100 on Charity Navigator.
International medical body – An international non-profit organization, the International Medical Corps specializes in providing health and medical care to regions affected by the disaster. I am currently on the ground in North Carolina and provide medical care and they are asking for financial support. The organization has a score of 84 out of 100 on Charity Navigator.
GoFundMe – GoFundMe has created a landing page that aggregates verified campaigns to help those affected by Florence hurricane. Campaigns have been initiated by organizations such as Task Force 75 Inc. NFP, which is a volunteer rescue team composed primarily of US military veterans who believe their service in the country and its citizens is not over.
BBQ Relief operation – Operation BBQ Relief provides meals for residents and emergency personnel. According to the website of the organization, they have prepared equipment and resources and are ready to move to the areas hit by the hurricane as soon as it is safe. They ask for cash donations and volunteers. The group was founded in May 2011.
World Hope International – The charitable organization of World Hope International, based in Virginia, is on the field in the affected areas and accepts donations. The group is working with their church partners to distribute material and has a score of 92 out of 100 on Charity Navigator.
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Local organizations often have a deeper understanding of local conditions and the best ways to tackle community problems. In terms of donation locally or nationally, Brooks said: "It depends a lot, I would not say it's better to find a national or local organization, it's nice to find a 'credible organization'.
North Carolina has created a list of "voluntary active organizations in a disaster", which lists some local organizations. We have highlighted some, as well as other credible local organizations in North and South Carolina:
The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund – Established and managed by the state government, the fund accepts funds and volunteers. The contributions will help to meet the immediate unmet needs of the victims of Florence's hurricane. In addition to the online donation, you can send a message to Florence at 20222 or send your contribution to: North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund, 20312 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C 27699.
A SC fund – Established by the former governor of South Carolina and current ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley along with a community foundation, the One SC Fund provides grants to non-profit organizations to finance relief efforts and recovery in situations of emergency declared by the state, like the Florence hurricane.
Hearts with hands – Headquartered in Asheville, California, Hearts With Hands is a nonprofit organization working in the "outreach ministry" field and was founded in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida and focused on hurricane rescue. They accept cash donations and have a specific list of necessary in-kind goods on their website, such as wash clothes, travel toiletries and razors.
Foundation for the Caroline – The foundation has created a hurricane response fund that is used to channel money to non-profit organizations in North and South Carolina. The foundation has a score of 94 out of 100 on Charity Navigator.
Lutheran services Carolinas – Lutheran Services Carolinas is a faith-based organization that has offices in North and South Carolina. They are accepting donations for "a long-term recovery".
Baptists on a mission – The money donated to the baptists on the mission will help the second Baptist church in Washington, in the north, and the temple Baptist Church in New Bern, in the north of the country, to provide meals for those affected by the storm, among other things. The group also asks for volunteers.
Kitchen of the central world – The World Central cuisine was founded by chef Jose Andres after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Using a food truck to deliver food to New Hanover, Columbus, Brunswick and Pender counties in North Carolina, Wilmington's World Central Kitchen is a partnership between Andres and a local Wilmington, N.C. Chef Keith Rhodes. They are accepting monetary donations.
Diaper Bank of North Carolina – Founded by parents Michelle and Gregory Old in 2013, Diaper Bank distributes over 200,000 diapers a month across the state with branches throughout North Carolina. They also provide access to basic necessities for families in shelters. They have an Amazon wishlist asking for children's underwear, toilet paper, feminine products and diapers.
Loaves and fish – Based on Charlotte, N.C., serving the Mecklenburg County, Loaves and Fishes provides families with a short-term food week-long crisis. The organization reports that, starting Tuesday, it is working regularly. The organization accepts donations in cash online and provides donations that can be transferred to any place in their pantry and in their warehouse.
Feeding the Caroline – Founded in September 2016, Feeding the Carolinas is an alliance between the NC State Association and the SC State Association, which represents all nine Carolinas food banks, as well as a food recovery organization. They are working with Feeding America and are accepting donations from local food banks. Otherwise, you can donate monetarily on their website.
Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina – Operating for over 35 years, the Central & Eastern North Carolina Food Bank works with a network of over 800 partners in the state. They are accepting donations at drop-off sites in those six cities, as well as online monetary donations.
Harvest Hope Food Banks – This South Carolina organization feeds hungry people and families in the Midlands, Pee Dee and major regions of Greenville. They are also working with Feeding America and refer to those who want to donate supplies to their Amazon Wish List. They also accept food and provide donations in various places, or accept monetary donations online.
Local police For those who are driving distance, Hurricane police and sheriff departments in the areas affected by Florence are accepting bottled water donations, non-resistant food products, cleaning products and hygiene items. The Association of Law Enforcement Officers of South Carolina has he tweeted a list of delivery locations.
Some animal shelters are saving and absorbing a surplus of animals from areas affected by the storm.
Atlanta Humane Society – The agents worked with shelters on the Carolina coast, making arrangements to ensure that the animals are out of danger. Currently they are accepting monetary donations, which will be paired until September 30th.
Saving of coastal animals – Coastal Animal Rescue is a non-killing shelter with a veterinary clinic that has taken dozens of dogs and cats and given them treatment. "We have taken as many as possible, and some are still with us now because people can not take them back," said Barbara Cook, a volunteer at Coastal Animal Rescue.
Cook said that some of the animals were domestic animals that had been abandoned or left behind by their owners when the storm approached. But not all animals were able to get out of the storm path.
Pender County Animal Shelter – In the county of Pender, floodwaters passed the Interstate-40 and the animal shelter filled up quickly. However, shelter is required by the animal euthanasia law if the number of animals arriving exceeds the space they must hold and can not find adequate transfer options for the animals.
Jewell Horton, the refuge manager, said he wants to avoid animal euthanasia and asked for help.
"Unfortunately at the moment, the infrastructure is so bad because of the storm that we can not accept online payments," he said.
Currently, he said that the county is cut off by the floods, but has asked people to send donations, pet food, kennels and other supplies in the hope that the streets will reopen soon.
Other shelters that help the animals affected by the storm are the Charleston Animal Society, which has evacuated over 40 dogs from Myrtle Beach, SC, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, the Greenville Humane Society, which has a wish list in the Amazon and the Humane Society of Charlotte.
Give blood or time
Following the cancellation of blood impulses in the affected states, the American Red Cross is reporting a shortage of local blood supply and encourages residents of unaffected areas in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina , Tennessee and Virginia to donate blood. Appointments can be made online.
If you're a local or you're planning to go to Carolinas for relief, you can also give some time. Some of the organizations already listed accept volunteers. The state of North Carolina has also created an online form to recruit volunteers. South Carolina is asking that the volunteers do not self-unfold and if they wish to assist with relief efforts, they sign up through a site managed by the United Way Association of South Carolina.
Finally, for those who want to help but do not have much time to waste, the owners of the Amazon Echo speaker can say "Alexa, give Hurricane Florence help in case of disasters", which will send money to the Red Crossas long as you have a valid payment method in your Amazon account with voice-enabled purchase.
Ruben Kimmelman and Amanda Morris are NPR interns.