ORLANDO, Fla. — Hurricane Michael was one of the most intense storms to ever make landfall in Florida. And it will likely be a costly recovery and relief effort for those in the path of the storm.
Here, you'll find a list of organizations, local, state, and nationwide groups that are helping Floridians recover from the storm.
We'll update this list as we get more information. If you'd like to submit information for your organization's relief effort, email:
- firstname.lastname@example.org to reach Spectrum News 13 in Orlando
- email@example.com to reach Spectrum Bay News 9 in the Tampa Bay area
Central Florida area
All Marion County Public Schools are donation dropoff points through Thursday, October 25. Anyone from students and school administrators to the public can bring items to any public school during normal school hours. Students from Marion Technical College and others enrolled in Career Academy programs will sort and help deliver goods. Items will be taken to Blountstown, Florida on November 1. Wanted items include garbage bags, bottled water, sport drinks, cleaning supplies, diapers, fans, gas cans, pet food and more. For more information, call Marion Tech Principal Mike Kelly at 352-671-7200 or email him at Mike.Kelly@marion.k12.fl.us.
For one week, beginning October 22, Volusia County Schools is conducting a district-wide fundraiser for Gadsden County Schools. These donations are intended to help them with costs that directly impact the classrooms and schools. Volusia County Schools says it hopes to rally students and staff to raise more than $70,000. If those in the community would like to donate, please contact your nearest Volusia County School.
Tampa Bay area
The Florida Holocaust Museum
Starting Friday, October 19, the Florida Holocaust Museum is offering half priced admission for patrons with a donation. The offer runs through November 30.
Personal care items accepted for donation include products such as toiletries, paper goods, and cleaning supplies. Diapers and diaper wipes will also be accepted.
Tampa Bay nonprofit diaper bank BabyCycle is working with the National Diaper Bank Network to collect diapers for children affected by Hurricane Michael. The group is collecting diapers in size 5-6, as well as PullUps in sizes 2T/3T, 3T/4T and 4T/5T. To donate, go to their Amazon Wish List or make a monetary donation on their website. There's also a physical dropoff location at 6511 43rd Street N, #1811, Pinellas Park, 33781.
Locating missing people
The state has created a form for people to fill out to get information on people who are missing or may need assistance. You can access the form and fill it out on the Florida Department of Health website.
The group that monitors nonprofits has posted a list of national charities aiding in disaster relief and their ratings. They include Donors Choose, American Red Cross, Americares, World Hope International and more. Find the list on the Charity Navigator website.
AMERICAN RED CROSS
The American Red Cross has already sent emergency relief supplies to the Panhandle and is helping to respond. The Red Cross says some 500 trained disaster workers are also on their way to the area. To donate, head to the American Red Cross website.
Michael also canceled several blood drives in the area, and the Red Cross will need more blood donations as a result. Head to the Red Cross website to find a drive near you.
The Salvation Army is opening service sites throughout the area to provide meals and supplies. You can donate to the Salvation Army's relief effort through its website.
Samaritan's Purse is a Christian organization looking for volunteers to head to storm-ravaged areas of Florida and Georgia and help homeowners whose homes suffered damage. Details can be found on the Samaritan's Purse website.
The blood bank that services most Florida counties also helps other states in Michael's path, including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. You can find a blood drive near you on the OneBlood website.
WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN
A group founded by restauranteur Chef Jose Andres to fight poverty and also feed people in disaster areas. World Central Kitchen has helped out in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence, and now in the Florida Panhandle. Head to the World Central Kitchen website to help.
OPERATION BBQ RELIEF
Operation BBQ Relief is a group of competition barbecue teams that help feed displaced families, first responders and emergency personnel in disaster zones. According to the group's Facebook page, they are looking for volunteers and donations. Head to that page for more information.
FLORIDA DISASTER FUND
The Florida Disaster Fund is a state-managed fund available for people to donate money. The money is then distributed to service organizations that help in relief efforts. Go to the Volunteer Florida website to donate with a credit card.
Feeding Florida is the umbrella group that coordinates a network of food banks across the state. Head to the Feeding Florida website for help either donate through their group, or through a local food bank in your area.
SECOND HARVEST OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
Second Harvest Food Bank began packing some 2,000 disaster relief boxes for Michael victims earlier this week. You can donate food at the main facility in Orlando, and at branch warehouses in Brevard and Volusia counties. Head to the Second Harvest website for more details.
THE FLORIDA BAR
The Florida Bar has set up a Disaster Relief Hotline to offer pro bono legal advice to disaster victims. The Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar is looking for volunteers to help. You can sign up on the Florida Bar website.
A legal aid hotline is also now available for those who can't pay for an attorney at 1-866-550-2929. The hotline is available in both English and Spanish. Information provided includes FEMA assistance, insurance claims, dealing with contractors, counseling on mortgage and tenant issues and more. More Florida Bar resources are available at https://www.floridabar.org/hurricaneinfo
CLEAN THE WORLD
The nonprofit, based out of Orlando, recycles soap and other hygiene products for relief programs around the world. The group is packaging emergency relief kits throughout the southeast, and they need volunteers to help pack those kits.
Sign up to help at the Clean the World website.
FLORIDA STATE ANIMAL RESPONSE COALITION
The FSARC is a state-sanctioned group of trained volunteers that take part in rescues during disasters. They announced Friday that they were being deployed to Bay County in the Panhandle. Right now they are only accepting trained volunteers. If you would like to donate, you can head to the FSARC website.
SPCA TAMPA BAY
The SPCA Tampa Bay announced Friday it is going to Franklin County to transport about 49 dogs out of shelters up there and bring them to the Tampa area. This will help shelters better manage any rescued dogs that come in. Head to the SPCA Tampa Bay website to find out how you can help.
Operation Airdrop and the Gainesville Regional Airport is running a supply drive to the Panhandle.
All donations must be properly marked, tagged and neatly bundled.
You can drop the donations off between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. starting Saturday at:
University Air Center — Gainesville Regional Airport
4701 NE 40th Terrace
Gainesville, Florida, 32609
They are looking for:
- Baby food/supplies
- Pet food
- Personal hygiene
- Feminine hygiene
- Paper goods
- First aid products
- Batteries and flashlights
- Bottles of water
Even animals and pets from the Panhandle have been impacted by Hurricane Michael. Learn how you can help by reaching to the following animal services.