At Hibbs Homes, custom home builders in St. Louis and St. Charles, MO, we know how important home is. We know we’re building a place for families to come together, support one another and create memories that last a lifetime. We take our job seriously and are proud of the homes we have built. We’re also grateful that we live in an area that isn’t usually hit by natural disasters. We’ve seen tornadoes, flooding and snowstorms, and of course we’ve all experienced a power outage at one time or another, but in St. Louis, and the surrounding metro area, we’ve never seen the kind of devastation like the people in the Carolinas are seeing right now in the aftermath of hurricane Florence. Thankfully, there is help for hurricane Florence victims.
Hurricane Florence by the Numbers
As of today, at least 32 people have died from the in storm related events – 25 in North Carolina, 6 in South Carolina and one in Virginia. It’s heartbreaking and our thoughts are with the people and their loved ones.
While the majority of people were able to flee the storm by going inland and staying with friends and family, many were unable to do so. Either because they had nowhere to go, couldn’t afford to leave, didn’t think they were in harm’s way or wanted to protect their property from potential looting. Whatever the reason, there are at least 26,000 people in shelters around the area – many won’t have a home to return to when the flood waters recede.
Nearly half a million people are still without power. If you’ve ever lost power for a day or two, you know how much damage it can cause – everything in the freezer and fridge has to be used right away or tossed out. If you’re lucky enough to have a generator it’s only as good as your last tank of gas. We live in a world that needs power to function, we are no longer equipped to survive very well without it for long periods of time.
Of course, many of those who don’t have power also don’t have a home left. Florence dumped 18 trillion gallons of rain over the last week, and the flooding will continue for some time. We won’t know how many homes have been destroyed by Hurricane Florence for some time, but economic damages are estimated to be between $10 billion and $60 billion.
It’s staggering and a bit overwhelming how much damage this storm has caused and how much it will take to rebuild after the waters recede. Even worse, many will go back to their life and forget about the people in the Carolinas and Virginia who need help rebuilding.
Is there help for hurricane Florence victims? Yes, there are many charities and organizations and individuals who are already down there helping clean up and planning to rebuild. Organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army are doing what they do in times of natural disasters. Individuals from all walks of life are driving in to lend a hand.
Help for Hurricane Florence Victims
There are many ways you can help – you can donate your time, money, blood to start. If you are planning on donating money be sure to check out the organization. Unfortunately when disaster strikes there are people who will try to profit from the situation, claiming they are a charity when they really aren’t. Don’t be scammed, if you are unsure of the charity check with the Better Business Bureau, Guide Star, or Charity Navigator.
Ways to Donate
You can donate money, your time and blood to the Red Cross. You don’t even need to leave your house to donate money, you can donate on their website. If you want to donate blood, and they are always in need of it, you can visit your local Red Cross. If you’re here in St. Louis or other parts of the country, the blood might not necessarily go to the storm area, but it will help those in needs, so if you can, donate blood.
Homes that have been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Florence will need to be rebuilt. That might mean repairing some water damage, repairing a roof, or rebuilding entire homes. Many homeowners will not have the right kind of insurance and many won’t have enough insurance to cover the cost to rebuild. Thankfully there’s Rebuilding Together, a non-profit from Midland Texas, works to repair homes that are in need of repair. Rebuilding Together has over 100,000 volunteers who help rebuild homes that have been damaged by storms and other natural disasters.
Diaper Bank of North Carolina provides diapers, feminine hygiene products and incontinence supplies to those in need. You can make a donation on their website from your computer, if you are in the area you can drop diapers and other products off at their headquarters, and you can donate your time an help create kits that they drop off to those in need.
Another non-profit that helps to rebuild homes after disaster has struck. In addition to rebuilding homes, they also have the Pathways to Permanence strategy. Pathways to Permanence guides individuals and families through the necessary steps in taking back more control of their living situation following a tragedy. Habitat for Humanity works in conjunction with other organizations to help those in need get back on their feet with dignity. You can make a monetary donation or you can donate your time to rebuilding the structures that have been damaged or building new homes to replace the ones that have been destroyed.
Don’t forget about the pets that have been displaced due to Hurricane Florence. Right now local shelters are filled with animals that have been lost or left behind. Shelters are at full capacity and need to have animals adopted quickly in order to avoid euthanasia. Often, animals will be shipped to shelters in other states, you can help by adopting a pet. If you’ve been thinking about bringing a furry friend into your family, now is a great time to do so. You don’t even need to be out east to make a difference. Adopt an animal, or give to the Humane Society so they can continue to help animals that have been displaced by Hurricane Florence.