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How To Help The Victims Of Hurricane Michael

Aerial image of damage from Hurricane Michael.

The Tampa Bay area is reaching out with donation drives to help the victims of Hurricane Michael.

Donations - including food, medical care, water and cleaning supplies - will make their way up the coast from Tampa to the Panhandle to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.

Here are a few ways to help:

  • OneBlood is seeking blood, plasma and platelet donors of all types. OneBlood can be found in all of the counties in Florida and a list of their blood drives can be found here, or by calling 1-888-936-6283.

“The need for blood does not stop for hurricanes. We stress all the time the need for ready blood supply before, during and after the storm; and the reason is blood is constantly needed no matter what is going on," said Susan Forbes,  Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
Currently, OneBlood operations in two of the Panhandle areas, Mariana and Panama City, are suspended due to the loss of power and hurricane damages. All other donor centers are functioning.

  • Radiant Church in Tampa is accepting donations at their South Dale Mabry location at 3938 S Dale Mabry Hwy. They are asking for water, non-perishable items, baby items, and anything that will help with immediate relief.
  • Collections are being taken at Wesley Chapel Nissan from Oct. 12-19. Supplies needed include portable generators, insect repellent, water, cleaning materials and hygiene products.
  • Cash donations can be made at CharityWatch, Charity Navigator and Volunteer Florida. The money received will be spent on different programs and services to help the affected communities.
  • Farm Share, has warehouses in most areas of the state that are working to supply food, water and supplies to send over to the Panhandle area. Donations can be made here. Locations and distribution times will be posted at their Facebook page.
  • The Pasco Sheriff’s Office will be having a hurricane supply donation this Sunday from 8 a.m. -12 p.m. at the Target located at the Suncoast and 54.
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are also helping victims by having a raffle where all the collected funds will be sent out to help the victims. Tickets can be purchased to help the victims here.
  • The American Red Cross is also accepting blood donations. Appointments can be made through their blood donor app or by calling 1-800-red-cross.

Those affected by Hurricane Michael can notify their family members by marking themselves safe through the American Red Cross Safe and Well page.

“The Red Cross offers a unique site called Safe and Well. This is a website to let loved ones know that you are ok after a disaster that has been experienced in your area,” said Rachel Nelson, Regional Director of Communications.

“The Red Cross, right now, is focused on immediate relief operations, and that is sheltering, feeding, providing support, to individuals most specifically in shelters and then we will be going out deeper into communities," Nelson said. 

Florida also recently started a service that lets other people report an individual who is missing through the Department of Health website. It goes to a database and search and rescue teams help look for people.

Hannah Yechivi is a WUSF digital intern for fall 2018.
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