How to best donate to areas affected by Hurricane Florence

How to best donate to areas affected by Hurricane Florence

WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- As Hurricane Florence crashes into the coast, many disaster relief organizations are preparing for the worst.

"Our minds and our thoughts are with people who are in the path of Florence. It is a concern," said Bill Jones, President and CEO of United Way Wyoming Valley.

While the hurricane isn't directly hitting Pennsylvania, after seeing the devastation on TV screens, people here may want to help where it is.

But the question is where do you go and what do you give?

"The people in greatest need don't need your clothing, they don't need you to send out water bottles, they don't need you to send down food. What they need is money to be given to the best and most effective first responders that are working on the ground in their communities," said Larry Lieberman, COO of Charity Navigator.

Throughout the year, Charity Navigator looks into thousands of charities - from national organizations like the American Red Cross to regional food banks.

"You can see our list, which right now includes over 30 different organizations that we've vetted for their quality and effectiveness," Lieberman said.

On their website you can search Hurricane Florence under Hot Topics and find reputable charities across the spectrum, from medical to animal services.

"Nationally the United Way has put together the United Way Hurricane Relief Fund," said Jones, if people who want to support the fund, 100% of their donations will get to those affected communities for long-term relief efforts.

United Way is one nonprofit on Charity Navigator's list.

They agree that what's most effective right now is money, especially since the full impact of the storm is not yet known.

"Sometimes storage facilities are very difficult, so if you get flooded with clothing and water and those kinds of items, and they don't know where to go. So right now dollars help the most because the dollars turn into the things that families need immediately," Jones said.

Lieberman also says that you don't need a lot of money to help.

They've found there's a need for highly-trained volunteers to assist after storms hit.

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