Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas and is heading toward the U.S. WTOP listeners and readers have several options for helping out those affected by the storm:
The Red Cross is always doing work in storm-battered areas, and it could use help right now. There are a few ways you can direct your money on Red Cross donation page; Hurricane Dorian is one of them. You can give blood, which the Red Cross anticipates it will need. You can go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to find out where and how you can donate.
D.C. celebrity chef Jose Andres is ready to help out by cooking food for storm-stricken areas in the Bahamas once the danger has passed. His World Central Kitchen has been helping everyone from storm victims to furloughed feds for years.
Project Hope, a Virginia-based nonprofit group that sends medical professionals to disasters around the world, is sending a team to the Bahamas.
Direct Relief primarily focuses on medical supplies, and it has set up caches of medicine across the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. You can specify that your donation go to Hurricane Dorian relief.
Team Rubicon is a nonprofit composed of American military veterans dedicated to helping out in underserved areas hit by catastrophe; you can specify that your money goes to Dorian relief.
Water Mission is dedicated specifically to making sure people have safe water after a storm. You can pick Hurricane Dorian relief as a specific target for your donation.
Catholic Relief Services, based in Baltimore, is coordinating the delivery of supplies to the Bahamas. Their Dorian-specific donation page is here.
ADRA is a relief organization run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church helping in the Bahamas.
Community Organized Relief Effort is a partner of Andres’ World Central Kitchen and is deploying a disaster response team. You can also donate directly to their Dorian-related efforts.
You can find a list of charities that are helping out at Charity Navigator, along with their Guidestar ratings. The Better Business Bureau also has a website to check out various organizations.
In Maryland, the secretary of state registers and monitors charitable organizations. In Virginia, the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs keeps tabs on organizations soliciting contributions.
Eric Friedman, the director of Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection, told WTOP that you shouldn’t feel guilty about doing some homework and being a little skeptical before donating to various efforts.
Rescue teams from Maryland and Virginia, including the Fairfax County-based Virginia Task Force One and Montgomery County-based Maryland Task Force One, were activated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency last week, and are in Florida to help with rescues and resources.
WTOP’s Abigail Constantino, Alejandro Alvarez and Michelle Basch contributed to this report.