The healthcare professional's guide to giving: 15 ways to help the Southeast rebound from Florence

Florence, which made landfall Sept. 14, was a Category 1 hurricane that evolved to a tropical storm and, as of Sept. 18, a post-tropical cyclone. At least 35 people across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have died in storm-related incidents, and 343,000 people were still without power in North Carolina at the time of publication.

Florence caused damage that could cost up to $22 billion and disrupted millions of lives. Here's how you can help affected residents and care teams directly or from afar. 

If you have suggestions or additions to this list, please contact kgooch@beckershealthcare.com.

Give time and medical aid or support care teams from afar

Victims of Florence are in dire need of quick and easy access to professional medical aid. For physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who want to donate their clinical skills to help those suffering, consider the following organizations.

1. National Nurses United's RN Response Network has established a Hurricane Relief Standby List. RNs can sign up for the list for potential deployments to areas affected by Florence. More information is available here.

2. International Medical Corps, a global humanitarian organization, is sending resources and an assessment team to the Carolinas to assist in relief efforts for Florence. It is also reaching to its network of disaster responders, physicians and nurses to organize teams that will staff temporary mobile clinics, if needed. Also, its modular, mobile field hospital is pre-positioned in Memphis, Tenn., ready to be deployed for relief efforts.

Give medical supplies

Several national and regional organizations are accepting medical supplies and monetary donations to distribute medical equipment on the East Coast. Organizations are listed with information regarding requested supplies, online donation portals and contact information.

3. Americares, a national organization providing medical outreach, sent a team to North Carolina to help rebuild clinics in areas of need, as well as deliver emergency medicines and relief supplies. Americares is accepting monetary donations for its Florence response through an online portal. Access Americares' portal here.

4. Charleston, S.C.-based Portlight is a disaster response nonprofit serving disabled populations. Portlight is seeking monetary donations to help disabled individuals affected by Florence by providing them emergency assistance and medical supplies. Access Portlight's online portal here.

5. National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, a network of clinics providing access to healthcare, medications and supplies, is seeking monetary donations for Florence victims. The organization is also seeking blood pressure cuffs, gas cards, laptops, tablets or walkie-talkies. Email info@nafcclinics.org if you'd like to donate.

6. MAP International, an organization providing medicines and health supplies, has already sent 4,000 disaster health kits to staging centers in Windsor, N.C., and Tabor City, N.C. These kits provide essential health items that can last an entire week for one person living in an evacuation shelter. They are seeking monetary donations for further Florence relief efforts.  

Give blood

Hospitals are especially in need of O negative and O positive donations, but people with all blood types are encouraged to donate.

7. The Blood Connection, which has centers in North Carolina and South Carolina, is also looking for blood and platelet donations in the wake of the storm. Click here to find one of the agency's donation centers or blood drives. Call 864-255-5000 for more information. 

8. Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is encouraging people to donate at one of its five centers if they can do so safely. Donors from Sept. 15 through Sept. 21 receive a special Hurricane Hero T-shirt. Call 1-888-59BLOOD or visit www.cbcc.us to schedule an appointment.

9. Virginia Blood Services is encouraging people to donate their blood and platelets to help those affected by Florence. Visit www.vablood.org/contact-us/donor-centers/ to find a donation center.

Give in other ways

Can't donate expertise, supplies or time, but still want to help? Consider donating resources to the following causes or groups.

10. Airbnb. Airbnb is seeking hosts to provide shelter free of cost to victims of the storm. More than 500 hosts are already participating. Learn more here.

11. All Hands and Hearts Smart Response. All Hands and Hearts addresses immediate and long-term disaster relief needs, with a focus on helping communities rebuild infrastructure after disasters. Donate here.

12. Cajun Navy Relief. The Cajun Navy Relief is a volunteer group of private boat owners who assist in search and rescue efforts after storms. They have provided relief during the 2016 South Louisiana Floods, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and now Florence. Donate to the Cajun Navy via PayPal here.

13. GoFundMe. Crowdfunding site GoFundMe created a page with campaigns verified to help support victims of the storm. Learn more here.

14. Hospital donations. Some area hospitals are accepting direct donations for relief efforts. For example, Wilmington, N.C.-based New Hanover Regional Medical Center is accepting donations for Florence here.

15. The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army provides food, social services, emotional and spiritual care, emergency communications and recovery following natural disasters. It has provided emotional care to more than 3,500 individuals, 54,850 meals and deployed 83 mobile feeding units so far. Donate here.

 

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