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Here's How To Help Hurricane Florence Recovery Efforts After The Devastating Storm

Hurricane Florence is continuing to wreak havoc as it crosses the Carolinas, leaving torrents of rain, flash flooding, and stormy winds in its wake. Thirteen people have been reported dead, and the disaster has left many without electricity and access to supplies. Even though Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression as of Sunday, Sept. 16, those affected are still in need of assistance. If you want to get involved, here's how to help Hurricane Florence recovery efforts, because the people weathering the storm need your help more than ever.

Since Hurricane Florence landed in North Carolina on Friday, Sept. 14, officials and charities have been attempting to ramp up relief efforts. The damage is far from over. Approximately 800,000 residents are without power in North Carolina and South Carolina, and hundreds of people have had to be rescued from their homes due to flooding and storm damage, according to CNN.

"The flood danger from this storm is more immediate today than when it ... made landfall 24 hours ago," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said on Saturday, per CNN. "We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns." As Hurricane Florence continues making its way inland towards Ohio and Virginia over the next couple of days, even more people are going to be impacted. Here's how you can make a difference and help those in need.

Donate To The American Red Cross

One easy option to fund general relief efforts is to donate to the American Red Cross, which you can do by text, by phone, by mail, or online. Just remember that if you decide to mail in a check, you will need to fill out the donation form found on redcross.org, and send it in with your check. One great thing about this option is that Google has partnered up to match up to $1 million for every dollar spent on Hurricane Florence relief efforts, so you can make double the difference with your gift.

Donate Locally to the North Carolina community foundation (NCCF)

If you'd rather donate your money to a local organization that's more familiar with the affected area and the needs of its population, the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF) is a great choice. Not only does 100 percent of your donation go to disaster relief, but their insider knowledge of the state means that your money will likely be utilized in the most efficient way.

Donate blood Via American Red Cross & Other Blood Centers

One thing that many people fail to take into account is an increased need of donated blood during a disaster. According to CNN, more than 120 blood drives have been canceled across Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia despite higher demand. If you want to donate blood, you can make an appointment through organizations like the Red Cross, AABB (an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the fields of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies, per its website), or America's Blood Centers and find the blood bank that's nearest to you.

Donate To Animal Shelters

People aren't the only ones needing assistance during the aftermath of the storm. Many animals were left behind when families evacuated, and they've been stranded because of the mass flooding. If you're looking to help four-legged residents in the Carolinas or Virginia, you can donate to the American Humane Society or the local Charleston Animal Society.

With a continuation of the catastrophic flooding and damaging storms, all displaced victims are in need of immediate help. All of these organizations help fulfill different needs, so I'd look through these options to determine what's the best way for you to help out during this time. Whatever you can do will surely help in this time of need.