Bahamas has been devastated by one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded. At least thirty people have died and several thousand were left homeless, according to reports. Many organisations have been asking for help through online donation platforms and crowdfunding, to raise money to help the affected, as the hurricane continues to wreak havoc with flash floods, tornadoes and power outages.
The storm touched the south-eastern coast of the United States on September 5th, following several emergency warnings and alert messages. It severely impacted several residential areas and forced some to evacuate the area.
In the wake of affairs, agencies have mobilized to offer disaster relief. Here’s what you can do to help:
Authorities have set-up online donation platforms to help the people in the affected areas. There are many online crowdfunding platforms that you can find on the internet. Such donations are important for disaster relief and recovery efforts. Prioritize online donations over physical items. It is advisable that you stick to lists provided by the government of the Bahamas for the things that you wish to donate. The Bahamas has also set up an online donation center that is providing updates as well.
National Association of the Bahamas
The NAB is Bahamas based nonprofit, which has setup a tool for online donations on its website. There are drop-off locations in Florida for water bottles, food, clothes and toiletries.
This is a relief effort by the city of Miami. They have provided a list of essentials for the affected areas in the Bahamas. You can find a list of the desired items here.
They are collecting supplies requested by the government including tents, purified water, portable generators and more. They have set up a disaster relief website where you can learn about making online donations and drop offs.
International Medical Corps
They are sending humanitarian aid workers and medical teams to the disaster affected areas. You can help their efforts by donating on their website.
It is great that you want to help in such disasters. But make sure you are careful. Scams have always surrounded disasters. Before making a donation to any crowdfunding effort, research well about the organization or individual behind the campaign. See if the charity has any on-ground experience in related areas. See if they have skilled operations as it may be difficult to provide assistance. See if their website clearly mentions what they can do to address the situation as well as their long-term recovery plans. Also, make sure the platform you are donating to has a clear description of their appeal.
We at GiveCentral–having worked with crowdfunding campaigns, would advise you to give to an organisation or individual you actually know. The Federal Trade Commission has offered more tips for donations here. If you suspect a fraud somewhere, kindly report it to the office of your state’s Attorney General.