Hurricane Irma is currently barreling toward Florida, and is expected to leave a trail of destruction should it make landfall on Sunday morning.
Thousands have already been displaced and at least 19 people have been killed since the storm ripped through Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy, Anguilla, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas and Cuba’s Camaguey Archipelago over the course of this week.
Ahead of what will likely be a lengthy cleanup operation in the U.S. and across the Caribbean, here’s what you can do to help those affected:
1. Donate or volunteer
Multiple organizations are appealing for donations so they can send volunteers and supplies to the disaster areas.
Crowdfunding site GlobalGiving’s “Hurricane Irma Relief Fund” aims to provide food, water and medicine to survivors. It also plans to offer longer-term recovery assistance in helping people rebuild their communities.
GoFundMe is hosting dozens of crowdfunding campaigns that have been launched by individuals hit by the storm, or by those who want to help.
With Irma expected to displace thousands of pets, the ASPCA Field Investigation and Response Fund, Best Friends Animal Society and The Humane Society of the United States are seeking donations to boost animal rescue efforts.
Feeding Florida is working with the state’s food banks to make sure people in need are kept fed and hydrated.
Donors Choose has launched a recovery fund to help teachers in Florida and other parts of the southeastern U.S. rebuild their classrooms and replace supplies.
2. Give blood
Blood centers in Florida anticipate a shortage in supply, as their counterparts did in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.
3. Provide accommodation for evacuees
Airbnb is seeking homeowners in Florida and northern Georgia who are willing to open their homes for free to people who have been displaced by the hurricane and for relief workers who are deployed to help.