Hurricane Michael Relief

Posted on October 10, 2018

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

Updated on October 12, 2018

Hurricane Michael will go down in history as the third strongest hurricane to hit the United States. Michael made landfall on October 10th with winds of 155 mph. High winds, rains and flash floods ravaged several states, as far north as Virginia. The violent storm devastated the Southeast, causing death and destruction from Florida to Virginia. Some coastal Florida cities were destroyed beyond recognition.

The death toll reached at least 13 people as of the morning of October 12th. FEMA expected the number of fatalities to increase as more of the debris is searched.

Two days after Michael made landfall, more than a million people were without electricity. Areas along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere reported cell phone service outages and other communication breakdowns. Emergency officials did not have access to many towns. The full scale of the damage from Hurricane Michael will most likely take weeks or even months to fully assess.

The Related 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 charities, which are providing relief to Hurricane Michael victims, that receive an “A” or “B+” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Contact the organizations below for information on specific relief operations now underway.

Related Charities

All Hands and Hearts - Smart ResponseA+
American Kidney FundA+
American Red CrossB+
Church World ServiceA-
Direct Relief & Direct Relief FoundationA
DonorsChoose.orgA+
Episcopal Relief & DevelopmentA
Feeding AmericaB+
Habitat for Humanity International (National Office)B+
International Medical CorpsA
MAP InternationalB+
Medical Teams InternationalB+
Navy-Marine Corps Relief SocietyA
Operation USAA-
Samaritan's PurseA-
Save the ChildrenA-
Team RubiconA-
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)A+
World VisionA-

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