TAMPA, Fla. — Millions of Floridians have been impacted by Hurricane Ian, suffering from flooding and power outages and struggling to access some basic needs.
And in the aftermath of the storm, charities across the country are stepping in to provide some much-needed relief.
But, before you give your money to an organization, it's important to make sure you aren't getting scammed.
Here are five tips from the Better Business Bureau to make sure your Hurricane Ian relief donation is going to the right place.
- Make sure the disaster appeal is clear. Does the organization disclose exactly what disaster relief activities your money will be going toward? Examples are temporary shelter, food and medical care.
- See if the charity already has a presence in the affected area. Charities that already have support staff in the impacted area are more likey to deliver timely help.
- Check if the charity is an experienced relief organization. Has the organization helped with past weather-related disasters? These organizations are more reliable than newly-created efforts.
- Research if the crowdfunding site has a vetting procedure. Some crowdfunding sites vet postings after a disaster, others don't. Review the site's policies if you aren't sure.
- Check if the organization meets the Better Business Bureau's 20 charity standards. The BBB has done the legwork to help to know what to look for in a charity. You can check out the list here.
Here is a list of BBB-accredited charities that are currently collecting funds for Hurricane Ian relief.
People can donate to the Florida Disaster Fund, which helps communities across the state recover from emergency situations, according to Volunteer Florida. Donation amounts range from $25 to $5,000.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, also has a list of vetted organizations that are accepting donations and looking for volunteers. To learn more about disaster aid, click here.