How to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Dorian

September 3, 2019 12:12 pm
Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 4 storm, moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019
Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 4 storm, moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019
NOAA / Getty

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas over the weekend, leaving at least five people dead and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. The storm — still a Category 3 hurricane with winds up to 120 m.p.h. — is currently making its way to the Florida coast.

It’s the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the Bahamas, made all the more harmful by how slow-moving it is. As CNN reports, Dorian has moved just 30 miles in 30 hours, the second-shortest distance traveled by a major hurricane over the course of 24 hours since modern records began in 1850. Because the storm has been so slow to move away from the islands, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency relief group says it may be unable to get to the Bahamas until Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 4th).

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to help, however. Here are some places and organizations you can donate to if you’re looking to assist those impacted by the storm.

Food and Supplies

The City of Miami BAHAMASTRONG

The city of Miami is hoping that because they have (so far) managed to stay out of Dorian’s path, residents will donate the supplies they purchased in anticipation of the storm to the Bahamas. “Our prayers go out to everyone in The Bahamas as they start to deal with the effects of Hurricane Dorian,” Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez tweeted Tuesday morning. “Here in Miami-Dade County, we will match our thoughts and prayers with actions by offering as much assistance as we can in the aftermath of this unprecedented storm.” The city is asking for people to donate the following items: water, canned goods, can openers, flashlights, batteries, baby formula, diapers, sunscreen and first aid kits.

Donate: The city is accepting donations at City of Miami Fire Stations and several churches. For a complete list of locations, click here.

World Central Kitchen

Through his World Central Kitchen organization, Chef José Andrés provided meals to 3.6 million people in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and he and his team are already on the ground in the Bahamas and Florida preparing to serve meals to people who need them after Dorian. Andrés posted the following update yesterday:

Donate: You can donate online here, or sign up to volunteer with the organization here.

Animal Rescue

Humane Society of the United States

The Human Society is working to evacuate animals in Florida shelters that may be in Dorian’s path. The organization has already transported approximately 80 animals out of three shelters in the area. “By transporting dogs and cats who were already up for adoption out of the region, we are able to increase the capacity of the threatened communities as they prepare for flooding and an anticipated influx of displaced animals,” Kate MacFall, Florida senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement. “A lot of these animals are big dogs with lots of love to give, and they will make fantastic family members.”

Donate: Online here.

General Aid

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is readying evacuation centers across Dorian’s path. The organization says it is mobilizing “over 1,600 trained volunteers from all over the country, 110 emergency response vehicles and 99 tractor-trailer loads full of relief supplies, including cots, blankets and 63,000 ready-to-eat meals.”

Donate: Online here, or by calling 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669).

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has placed all its disaster-relief resources — which include more than 30 mobile feeding units capable of serving 500 to 1500 meals a day — in the state of Florida on standby in anticipation of the storm making landfall. “Our disaster relief teams train throughout the year to ensure we’re prepared to serve when disaster strikes,” Major Roy Johnson, spokesman for The Salvation Army of Florida said in a statement. “We encourage everyone to heed the warnings of their local emergency management offices to make sure they are as prepared as possible before the storm arrives.”

Donate: Online here, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Team Rubicon Disaster Response

Team Rubicon is an international disaster response nonprofit made up of military veterans and first responders who help to put up sandbags, board up windows, clear downed trees and other debris, rebuild houses and organize volunteers. They are already on the ground in the Bahamas and in Seminole, Florida.

Donate: Online here.


Save the Children

Save the Children works “to ensure children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard” when disaster strikes, and they have staff positioned in the region to help those dealing with Dorian by helping to restore childcare and education programs and providing social and emotional recovery programs to help children cope with the stress and trauma of the storm.

Donate: Online here.


UNICEF prepositioned staff in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent to prepare for Dorian, sending child protection specialists who will care for any kids who may have become separated from their parents during the storm.

Donate: Online here.


International Medical Corps

The Inernational Medical Corps is a global nonprofit focused on providing emergency responders, medical supplies and relief teams in the wake of natural disasters. They’re currently coordinating with the Florida Department of Health to provide relief and resources when Dorian makes landfall in the area.

Donate: Online here.

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