We could talk about climate change driving bigger and badder storms and making relief much harder, how we need to stop burning fossil fuels now, etc., etc., ad nauseam, but for many people in Florida who have had their lives upturned by Hurricane Ian, it’s already too late for any of that to help.
— The Original Volvo Jo (@Volvojo1) September 30, 2022
As a former Floridian and generally someone who cares about the other humans (some of you, anyway), I often look at disasters like Hurricane Ian and struggle with what to say or do about it. I imagine that’s a pretty common response.
That said, I’ve been through Hurricanes Gilbert, Andrew, Charlie (which followed almost exactly the same path as Ian did in 2004), and Katrina. By 2005, I’d had enough, and moved North – first up the coast of Florida, then out of the state altogether. My family and were brutalized by hurricanes, in other words, and while that might help smarter, better writers come up with the words they need to express how they feel looking at the storm’s damage … well, I’m not them.
I am at a loss, and I imagine other people are, too. To those of you asking yourselves, “How can I help?” though, I have an answer: give money. Here are some great places to do the giving.
- American Red Cross
The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and medical attention to people in the midst of natural disasters. They’re one of the better charities out there, with a high percentage of donations going directly to aid. They’re already on the scene in Florida, and they will be among the first to respond to the disaster once it finally unravels itself somewhere around PA.
Another humanitarian charity, UNICEF focuses its energy and resources providing for children – especially providing medical care, food, and other basic needs to children who are “on their own.” Think orphans or fostered/group home kids and you’ll get the idea. UNICEF is also on the ground in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other nations impacted by the storm, and if the scope of your concern extends there, these guys may be who you’re looking for.
- Meals on Wheels
A charity I’ve donated time and money towards in the past, these people bring food to some of the most vulnerable people in a community – many of whom couldn’t evacuate if they wanted to, and who may have been stuck inside flooded homes. More than once, the Meals on Wheels delivery people have been the ones to find people trapped in their damaged homes – and they are already back in service in the most heavily hit areas.
- American Humane
If you’re one of the many, many people who are worried about the four-legged victims of the hurricane, American Humane teams are already rushing to the state of Florida to assist with time-sensitive water search and rescue operations. They were incredibly effective in New Orleans after Katrina, and I imagine they have plenty of work ahead of them in Florida.
The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (or AACF) is significantly more niche that the rest. Established by a number of SEMA member companies to support members of the automotive community who have fallen on hard times. While not specifically a disaster response organization, Zachary Shahan once called me, “the most ‘car guy’ car guy,” and that may be so. These are my people, and if the Fast and Furious franchise has taught us anything, it’s that car people are family. A few months back, I wrote about Florida being America’s version of Turin over at the Truth About Cars, where all the cool car concepts are born (heck, even Rivian got its start in Florida– and the name, “Rivian,” is a play on the Banana River), and those guys are very definitely hurting right now.
I’m sure there are more that I’m missing, and many other causes and events that will be raising money for the victims of the storm in the coming weeks. Still, pretend I’m a better writer than I am and go donate something, somewhere, to help someone. A lot of someones will need it.
Original content from CleanTechnica.
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