Families along the Southeast coast of the United States are bracing for the full impact of Hurricane Matthew, which at the time of writing, is a Category 4 Hurricane. The storm is projected to make landfall this weekend.
People who are preparing to evacuate are taken up with finding and bundling the bare and absolute necessities- passports, social security cards, and more. Go bags are hastily assembled.
But the vast majority of their belongings must be left behind.
For family and friends at a loss for what to do, there are ways to anticipate needs and to respond effectively.
Says Give InKind founder Laura Malcolm:
“It is easy to feel helpless in an emergency. But there is always something that can be done to provide support, even when we are far away. We want to empower anyone to help, from anywhere."
If you are concerned about a family impacted by Hurricane Matthew, here is what you can do.
- Begin by contacting (by text or Facebook messenger) friends and family. Do this now, and offer to relay information to other loved ones. Ask specifically whether they know where they are going. Some may be able to stay with a friend or a family member. If they have a temporary physical address, make sure to note it. After the storm has subsided check to see whether deliveries in this area have been impacted.
- For people who are not sure where they will be located, you can still provide them with some necessary items with the help of digital gift cards. Some people may need assistance with hotels, restaurants, and items for children.
- Ask them to notify you of anything they need, and notify others wanting to help of what is most needed.
Know that families facing mandatory evacuation will be safe. However, they will face some logistical challenges in the short term. This is where friends and family can be the most responsive and helpful. Car travel will likely involve extensive delays in heavy traffic. Hotels and shelters may be fully booked. Cash machines may not be operational.
Needs change after an evacuation has been lifted and people can return to their homes. Check back with Give InKind to see what products are most necessary after the storm.
Click here for updates from Reddit or Twitter on Hurricane Matthew.
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