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Hurricane Dorian Relief

   Sep 03, 2019

Updated on September 06, 2019

CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient and accountable charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to Hurricane Dorian victims.

After striking the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm on Sunday, September 1st, Hurricane Dorian is the strongest storm to make landfall in the Atlantic basin since 1935. The hurricane decimated much of Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands when it stalled over the area for days, halting any possible relief efforts. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis reportedly called the destruction “unprecedented and extensive.” The Bahamian government has since deployed hundreds of police, marines, and health care workers into the hardest-hit parts of the islands. The U.S. Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy, and several relief organizations have joined in the effort to provide immediate and much-needed food and medical supplies to survivors. Dorian destroyed Abaco’s power grid, severing most communications. Transport to and from the islands is very difficult and is greatly hampering relief efforts for both rescue teams and survivors. Initial reports estimate property damage could reach around $7 billion, not including infrastructure and automobiles. The death toll in the Bahamas has jumped to 30 and is expected to continue to rise significantly.

Finally reaching the U.S. coastline, Dorian grazed Florida, Georgia, and parts of the Carolinas. On Friday, September 6th, nearly two weeks after forming, the storm made U.S. landfall over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina as a high-end Category 1 hurricane. The North Carolina Outer Banks were smacked with winds of nearly 98 mph as the eyewall, the hurricane’s zone of most severe weather around its center, moved across the area. Life-threatening storm surges, flash flooding, and dangerous winds are expected to continue to batter portions of the North Carolina coast, Southeast Virginia, and the southern part of Chesapeake Bay through late Friday night. Over 230,000 people were without power in North Carolina Friday morning. Hurricane Dorian is expected to be downgraded to a Tropical Storm over the weekend as it races towards New England.

The full extent of the monumental damage from this epic 13 day-plus hurricane will take several months to become known.

The charities listed below perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program services.
2) A charity should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.

Contact your favorite charities to find out if they provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g., emergency shelters, food and water, health care, psychological trauma counseling, rebuilding efforts, etc.

DONORS BEWARE

As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help with disaster relief efforts should only give to legitimate charities with an established track record of helping people in need.

  • Be on guard for a surge of solicitations related to any highly publicized crisis. There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or insert malware on your computer.
  • Do not respond to, or click on any attachments, links or pictures included in, emails or text messages received from unknown senders.
  • Social media will include many fake victims. Do not donate to unknown individuals purporting to need aid that post on Facebook, GoFundMe, etc. These may be fraudsters, and even if they are legitimate victims, they may receive an unfairly large amount of aid.
  • Scammers may try to use copy-cat names similar to those of well-known charities. Avoid name confusion by independently verifying that the charity is legitimate before you donate. Reputable charities will not pressure you to give immediately.
  • Beware of individuals or others claiming to be third party intermediaries for charities or those in need. It is best to give directly only to the charities that you are confident are legitimate and recognized for providing disaster or humanitarian relief.

SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS

The best way to help is by sending a check or donating securely by credit card. Such cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials, and other supplies. By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost effective to distribute them. For example, after a tsunami in the Pacific, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely useless items in tsunami-stricken nations with tropical climates, were sent.

CharityWatch identifies the following Top-Rated charities, which are providing relief to the Hurricane Dorian victims and receive an “A” or “B+” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Top-Rated charities also must meet CharityWatch's Governance and Transparency benchmarks. Contact the organizations below for information on specific relief operations now underway.

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