The anticipation surrounding hurricane Harvey and Irma is over but the devastation wreaked by these two storms isn’t. Millions of people are without power and are facing the loss of their houses and businesses and in some cases, their loved ones.

Listening to news updates and watching the heartbreaking clips of people fleeing their flooded homes have left many asking questions like, “What can I do?” and, “Where should I give?”

If you’re wondering how you can best help those who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes, keep reading. Below are a few easy and effective ways to give relief.

Donate blood

This may be something you already do but go ahead and donate more blood at the nearest location. Your donation could literally save a life as medical personnel use it to help people who got injured or sick during the storms.

Foster a pet

Another great way to help those in need is to foster a pet. Since many families are unable to care for their animals right now, there is a large number of dogs and cats that need a temporary place to stay.

Organizations like the SPCA of Texas are also asking for practical donations like pet food, crates, and beds in addition to foster homes. 

List a free bedroom

Airbnb has sent up a system where you can sign up your home in specific regions so that evacuees as well as volunteer workers have a free place to stay. Over a hundred individuals have already opened up their houses and extra bedrooms for those displaced by the hurricanes.

Simply make a verified Airbnb account or if you already have one, just log in then pick a current listing or create one for the specific issue. After your house is signed up, Airbnb will do the rest of the work for you and send you requests as they come in.

 

Give cash

Last but not least, if you’re able to donate financially to help with hurricane relief, the most effective thing to do is give cash to organizations already helping evacuees. Sending supplies like food or medical items usually isn’t as helpful as giving money to charities and nonprofits that know exactly what people need.

Vox recommends donating money to reputable organizations including All Hands, Houston Humane Society, Americares, The American Red Cross, Global Giving, Team Rubicon, The Salvation Army, Foundation Beyond Belief, Airbnb, Portlight, Operation Supply Drop, and SBP. If you give cash, be sure to hold onto your receipts for claiming these donations on your tax return.

 

It’s crucial for us to remember that although the buzz around these hurricanes has died down, millions are still coping in the aftermath of losing everything and desperately need other people to come alongside them with financial and emotional support.

The time to help is now.