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21st of October 2018

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How to help Hurricane Michael survivors

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm. Here's how you can help survivors.Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm. Here's how you can help survivors.Image: Joe Raedle / Getty Images2018%2f10%2f10%2f8b%2funnamed6.aa10fBy Victoria Rodriguez2018-10-11 21:27:45 UTC

Hurricane Michael was one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the continental U.S. in almost 50 years, according to the Associated Press. 

The hurricane made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida, as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday and then weakened as it moved through Georgia. Now designated a tropical storm, Michael is headed toward North and South Carolina, which were both recently devastated by Hurricane Florence.

Although the full scope of the damage is still being evaluated, preliminary reports have included power outages, uprooted trees, flooding, and demolished homes. At least six people have died as a result of the hurricane. CoreLogic, a financial data company, estimates insured storm losses could reach $4.5 billion. 

Recovery work has started in Florida, so if you'd like to help the survivors there and in Georgia, here's our list of ways you can provide support:

1. Donate to disaster-relief organizations. 

The nonprofit Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities, compiled a list of organizations providing general aid and relief, as well as food, shelter, medical care, and other necessities. If you want to ensure that your donation goes directly to Hurricane Michael relief, check first with the nonprofit about how they earmark financial gifts. 

Here are the organizations listed by Charity Navigator: GlobalGiving, International Relief Teams, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, Direct Relief, American Kidney Fund, DonorsChoose.org, World Help, American Red Cross, LeSea Global Feed the Hungry, SBP, Americares, Good360, World Hope International, First Book, Christian Relief Fund, World Vision, Matthew 25: Ministries, Heart to Heart International, Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Big Cat Rescue, Feeding the Gulf Coast, Feeding Tampa Bay, and Habitat for Humanity. 

Though not featured on Charity Navigator's list, Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies, which receives donations, is working to assist people with disabilities, older adults, and other people with access and functional needs. 

2. Help provide emergency supplies. 

Several of the above organizations are focused on meeting the urgent need for food, water, clothing, and shelter. 

World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, is delivering supplies, such as food, hygiene kits, clean water, blankets, diapers, and other personal care items to those affected and displaced by Hurricane Michael. You can donate here. 

Global Giving, an international crowdfunding community that supports local nonprofits, launched a Hurricane Michael relief fund to provide emergency supplies as well as long-term assistance. 

Facebook has also set up a crisis page where survivors can request immediate aid and assistance. Meanwhile, the company is matching up to $1 million in donations made to Save the Children through Facebook's crisis page or the donate button that appears on the top of your news feed.  

3. Donate to GoFundMe campaigns. 

GoFundMe has created a general relief fund to raise $50,000. The funds will be managed by The Direct Impact Fund, an independent nonprofit that distributes funds to verified campaigns and aid organizations. GoFundMe has also created a hub for verified individual campaigns related to Michael.  

If you're looking for additional resources on how to assess nonprofits and their work providing relief aid, consider consulting Charity Navigator or other charity watchdogs, like GuideStar, Charity Watch, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance. 

UPDATE: Oct. 12, 2018, 12:17 p.m. PDT This story was updated to reflect Charity Navigator adding Habitat for Humanity to its list. It also included new information about Facebook's crisis response page and its matching fundraiser for Save the Children. 

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