Here's How to Help Hurricane Irma Victims
While Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it passes through northern Florida today, it is already responsible for at least four deaths in Florida and at least 27 deaths and widespread damage across the Caribbean, . At least 5.8 million customers are without electricity in Florida after hurricane-force winds knocked down power lines across the state.
"We are doing everything we can to get food and water throughout the state," Florida Governor Rick Scott toldThe New York Times. "Most importantly we have got to save every life and we have got to make sure people understand it is still dangerous."
Here's what you can do to help.
Donate to the Victims in the Caribbean and Florida
Caribbean islands including St. Martin, Barbuda and St. Barts as well as Puerto Rico and Cuba took the heaviest hits from Hurricane Irma. Unicef and GlobalGiving currently are taking donations to help with hurricane relief efforts, while GoFundMe has a page dedicated to specific campaigns for people affected by the storm in the Caribbean and Florida.
Remember, monetary donations are the most helpful according to the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI).
"Many Americans respond to disasters by collecting food, clothing and household items for people in need, " the . "These donations require transportation — which is expensive and logistically complicated. Cash donations allow relief supplies to be purchased near the disaster site, avoiding delays and steep transportation and logistical costs that can encumber material donations."
While Tampa was spared from a direct hit from Irma, parts of downtown Miami experienced significant flooding and90% of customers in Jacksonville Beach, Florida lost power because of the storm. "I've never seen anything like it," Mayor Charlie Latham of Jacksonville Beach said on CNN of the surge and flooding there.
For more reputable charities working to help with Hurricane Irma relief, see the full list at .
Open Your Home to Hurricane Victims
If you check-in between now and September 28, 2019, Airbnb is waiving all fees for certain rentals in the southeast United States for people displaced by the storm and relief workers deployed to help in the affected regions. There are currently 177 hosts who've opened their homes already and you can list your home or any open rooms on the site for free too if you're able to welcome those affected by the storm.
Video: HURRICANE IRMA IS HERE! (LIVE FOOTAGE FROM HOME)
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