Hurricane Irma – Information & Ways to Help

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Irma – a massive Category 5 hurricane – tore an enormously destructive path through the Caribbean in early September before making landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm on Sunday, September 10th, with winds up to 130 mph. From there, Irma continued to bring serious wind and water damage, including flooding, through much of Florida and areas of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

As Florida and other states begin to recover from Hurricane Irma, the Florida Division of Emergency Management is providing storm-related updates and information here: http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Individuals, regardless of where they reside, can help those affected by Hurricane Irma. Listed below are resources to connect with in order to make a financial donation, donate blood, or volunteer.

Make a Donation

Important information about charitable giving: The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) recently released tips for avoiding phishing scams from individuals attempting to pose as legitimate charity organizations. Click here for more information. The Better Business Bureau of Central New England offers tips to donors on avoiding scammers and donating money to legitimate disaster relief organizations.  Click here for more information.    

Donate Blood

Volunteer

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES

FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma

USA.gov: https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-irma

Health and Human Services – HHS: https://www.hhs.gov/

American Red Cross – Contacting Loved Ones:  The American Red Cross offers assistance and tips for contacting loved ones in areas of the United States affected by disasters.  Click here for more information.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH): The Disaster Distress Helpline 800-985-5990 provides immediate crisis counseling and help to individuals nationwide who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of a natural or man-made disaster, or incidents of mass violence. The Helpline is available 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. The Helpline connects callers to professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services. Individuals can call or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

For information on local efforts and to find other local resources, visit http://www.211.orgto find contact information for regional 2-1-1 centers in Florida and other affected states.

Information and a financial toolkit by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to assist individuals after a hurricane can be accessed here: CFPB Financial Toolkit

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SOURCES:Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and American Red Cross, Texas Health and Human Services., Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

PREPARED BY: 211/mm

CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: September 2017