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Charities that help during hurricanes

When a hurricane hits, there are several charities you can turn to for assistance. These will be in addition to government agencies such as FEMA, or Federal Emergency Management Agency. Find what agencies such as the Salvation Army, Red Cross, or even the United Way (among many others) may be able to do to help during a hurricane.

Of course the first thing you need to do is to listen to your local authorities for guidance. Turn to the news, listed to government emergency response officials, etc. The priority during any disaster, such as a hurricane, is to be safe first and foremost. While charities can often provide some guidance here, this is not their primary role. They are more focused on helping people that are impacted. So we can’t stress enough…BE SAFE.

Some leading hurricane response charities

There are several that come to mind. But note this list is not all inclusive…it is rather some of the leading ones. The fact is that many Americans respond when a hurricane strikes. There are people that volunteer, those that drive across states to help pass out water or clean up, people that do any number of things to help victims. During times of disaster is when we often see the best of humanity in trying to respond. That being said, some of the charities to be aware of during a hurricane include:

Operating nationwide is the Salvation Army. They operate an Emergency Disaster Services program. Since this organization has literally thousands of locations around the country, in all 50 states as well as US territories, they are often one of the first to respond. A combination of volunteers as well as professionally trained staff to respond.

There are many forms of hurricane assistance provided by the Salvation Army. Of course it depends on the magnitude of the storm, where it hit, whether they can safely access to region, and many other factors. But when possible, the Salvation Army will bring food from mobile pantries and/or canteens; establish communication with victims and survivors; give emotional support; and provide social services to victims. Many other resources may also be provided to those that survive a hurricane. Find more details on Salvation Army assistance programs.

Hurricane relief is also arranged by the American Red Cross. Like many charity organizations, they respond in different ways. It will depend on what is needed in the area hit as well as available resources. But generally, what you may find the Red Cross doing is opening shelters to keep people safe or anyone that has been displaced by the hurricane can go there to stay safe.

The American Red Cross will often serve meals, pass out water bottles or blankets, give free clothing, and much more. Really the list of disaster relief service is extensive. But once again, they will tend to focus on the basics…safety, food, housing, shelter, blood, clothing, etc. Once those needs have been addressed then long-term relief may be given to anyone recovering from the hurricane.

There are several others to try as well. Really almost any charity will try to offer some form of relief in a disaster, which includes a hurricane or even a tropical storm. Some of the others to try for help, as well as what they may offer, include:

Feeding America – They work with food pantries to feed survivors.

FDS Friends Disaster Service – This charity helps the disabled, elderly, and homebound rebuild after a hurricane.

United Way – This national organization is generally involved in raising money for relief and response.

Volunteers of America (VOA) – As the name implies, volunteers (most of whom are trained) provide guidance, support, and assistance during a hurricane, including to the homeless.

Catholic Charities USA Disaster Response – Almost 200 regional churches respond during hurricanes.

Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) – When seeking help in rebuilding a home, or what was lost, LDR is an effective resource.

Many other organizations assist too. We have a list on the website, and find financial help from charities as well as free supplies to recover.

But once again, we can’t stress to do what the authorities say. Be safe first. Look for guidance from the government or first responders, including FEMA. This list of charities is just an example of where to turn to for some basic needs, emotional support, and help in rebuilding or recovering from a hurricane. But your primary place for information should not be this website, or this list. But rather get guidance from the experts in your community.

Also, as we stressed, be safe. Get your family, friends, and loved ones out of harm’s way from a hurricane. As they can be devastating.


Jon McNamara is the CEO of needhelppayingbills.com, a company that he started in 2008 and that specializes in helping low income families as well as those who are in a financial hardship. He also found NHPB LLC, a company committed to helping the less fortunate. Jon and his team also provide free financial advice to help people learn about as well as manage their money. Every piece of content on this website has been reviewed by him before publishing and many of the articles he has personally written. Jon is the leading author for needhelppayingbils.

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