Sep 13, 2018, 8:09 PM ET

How to help those impacted by Hurricane Florence

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As Hurricane Florence slams the Carolinas and neighboring states, many residents are experiencing what officials call "the storm of a lifetime," with its catastrophic flooding, storm surge and damaging winds.

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The storm — which made landfall with life-threatening storm surges and wind — prompted mass evacuations in coastal areas and was forecast to be one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the area in years.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast," the National Weather Service spokesperson in Wilmington, North Carolina, said late Tuesday night. "I can't emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm."

Flood conditions will worsen through the relentless rainfall over the next couple days, officials warned.

For those out of the path of the storm looking to help those impacted, it can be difficult to navigate the slew of humanitarian organizations and charity networks out there that are promising relief and aid for those impacted by the storm. Below is a roundup of all of the organizations that have been approved by the nonprofit group Charity Navigator as highly-rated organizations that are currently responding to areas affected by Florence.

PHOTO: Members of the Missouri Searh and Rescue, part of FEMA, unload their gear at a staging area as Hurricane Florence starts to make landfall in Lealand, North Carolina on September 13, 2018.AFP/Getty Images
Members of the Missouri Searh and Rescue, part of FEMA, unload their gear at a staging area as Hurricane Florence starts to make landfall in Lealand, North Carolina on September 13, 2018.

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has already mobilized more than 1,500 disaster workers to aid in the relief efforts as residents hunker down or flee ahead of Florence. The American Red Cross is currently taking donations to aid in their response efforts -- specifically for those affected by Florence -- here.

PHOTO: Evan Shepard, the lead canine behavior assessor for McKamey, works on securing kennels in a transport van at McKamey Animal Center on Sept. 12, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tenn.C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP
Evan Shepard, the lead canine behavior assessor for McKamey, works on securing kennels in a transport van at McKamey Animal Center on Sept. 12, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Americares

The health-focused disaster relief organization, Americares has already deployed a response team to North Carolina ahead of Florence.

“The storm is on track to make a direct hit on the East Coast and impact much of the southern United States in the coming days,” Americares Director of Emergency Response Brian Scheel said in a statement Monday. “Our response team has been activated and is ready to meet the immediate health needs in affected communities.”

They are currently collecting donations for emergency medicine and other supplies specifically for those impacted by Florence here.

North Carolina Community Foundation

The North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF) is a local humanitarian organization based in North Carolina that partners with local charities that support the community -- and is still ranked as a highly-rated charity currently providing aid to the Carolinas ahead of Florence.

You can learn more about how to support their relief efforts on the ground on their website.

PHOTO: A man attached to a respiratory machine sits in a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., Sept. 13, 2018.Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
A man attached to a respiratory machine sits in a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., Sept. 13, 2018.

GlobalGiving

The nonprofit crowdfunding organization GlobalGiving, which supports grassroots charity projects on the ground in areas affected, has launched a Hurricane Florence relief fund.

The fund will support immediate relief efforts such as food, water, and medicine but also invest in longer-term recovery projects to help residents rebuild their community after the storm recedes.

PHOTO: Police patrol past boarded up shops along the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast.David Goldman/AP
Police patrol past boarded up shops along the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast.

For animals: American Humane and the Charleston Animal Society

When these storms hit, animals -- especially those in a shelter -- are often extremely vulnerable as residents evacuate. If you are looking to help with the relief efforts for pet shelters, the national nonprofit organization American Human and the local Charleston Animal Society are both highly-rated organizations aiding in the Florence relief efforts specifically for four-legged residents of Virginia and the Carolinas.

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SLIDESHOW: PHOTOS: Cleanup begins in the areas damaged by Hurricane Florence

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  • Tina

    Was watching a Family Dollar getting looted. It looks like they are helping themselves

  • Ploy Wichita Saengchaikul

    I truly hate to see news like these about natural disasters affecting people. I live in Bangkok and have been through this situation once when it was flooding heavily here four years ago. I understand how they feel.I am relief to see all the organizations trying to help people by providing foods, shelters and such, especially for the animals.

    I truly hate to see news like these about natural disasters affecting people. I live in Bangkok and have been through this situation once when it was flooding heavily here four years ago. I understand how they feel.I am relief to see all the organizations trying to help people by providing foods, shelters and such, especially for the animals.

  • Andrew

    Thanks for this information.