Hurricane Ian has had a devastating impact on Southwest Florida, with its record-breaking storm surge. More than 2 million people have been impacted by the storm, suffering from floods, power outages, home displacements and access to basic necessities such as safe water, according to a Better Business Bureau (BBB) news release.
Many charitable organizations are seeking to provide emergency relief and assistance.
To assist donors seeking to support relief efforts, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers these tips:
- Is the disaster appeal clear? The contribution request clearly should identify what disaster relief activities you are supporting. There are many possibilities: temporary shelter, food, medical, other emergency needs. Don’t assume what the organization does based solely on the group’s name.
- Does the charity already have a presence in the impacted area? Charities that already have support staff in the impacted areas are more likely to develop help quickly at a time of immediate need.
- Is the charity an experienced relief organization? Experienced relief organizations will be able to provide help with greater speed and efficiency than a newly created one.
- If considering crowdfunding, do you know its procedures? Some crowdfunding sites take measures to vet postings after a disaster, others don’t. Review the site’s policies and procedures. If in doubt, it is safest to donate to people who you personally know and trust.
- Does the organization meet the 20 BBB Charity Standards? The Better Business Bureau recommends donating to charities that meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. To access a free evaluative report on charities, visit Give.org.
Published October 12, 2022