As Hurricane Florence makes landfall on the East Coast, volunteers and shelter staff throughout the United States are stepping up to help where it’s needed most.
Pets left to fend for themselves, shelter animals, even residents of the Virginia Zoo are in critical danger as the storm bears down on the eastern seaboard. Even though Florence is expected to die down by Sunday, September 16, abandoned animals in the path of this Category 4 hurricane have little chance of survival if they are not evacuated to drier, and higher, ground.
Florence is headed inland, toward the Carolinas. It passed between the Bahamas and Bermuda on Wednesday, Sept. 12, and was forecasted to land the following morning.
The New York Times estimates that more than a million people have been advised to evacuate the area in Florence’s path, and more than 3 million are expected to lose power during the storm.
GreaterGood.org has made it a mission to help animals in need, throughout the world, no matter the circumstances, and when news of Hurricane Florence’s approach first broke, the organization started putting rescue plans in place.
One of the first locations aid has been deployed to is GGO partner Charleston Animal Services. This facility will be used as a “hub” location to deliver pharmaceuticals from for their immediate county as well as requests from other agencies in the state that need assistance, says GreaterGood.org Director of Special Projects Denise Bash.
“They are proactively taking in pets from partners in high-risk areas and will be transporting those out after the storm passes,” Bash says. “They are an exceptional shelter partner. We will likely deliver other in-kind supplies to assist them as they are always willing to help others in need.”
So far, thanks to donations from caring individuals like you, GreaterGood has sent 27 pallets of dog and cat food to Louisville, Tenn., which will soon be sent to shelters and rescues housing pets displaced by the storm once first responders are allowed into affected areas. The organization has also procured 20 pallets of dog and cat food and 48 wire crates for pets displaced by the storm, which will be shipped to South Carolina’s Emergency Management Team in Effingham, South Carolina.
To North Carolina, GreaterGood is providing 750 crates for the animals displaced by the storm, which the North Carolina State Animal & Agriculture Response Teams will use in emergency sheltering across the state. A further 200 crates have been shipped off to Florence County, South Carolina, as well. These will help the local emergency shelters and other local counties in need.
Hurricane Florence’s arrival isn’t the first time services from GreaterGood have helped save lives. In the last 14 months alone, GGO has responded to disasters caused by three separate hurricanes.
GreaterGood.org is communicating with partners on the ground and stands ready to provide relief to people as the storm hits. It’s not just animals being saved from the storm, people are in need of assistance, too, and with your donations, they are being helped.
Click the button below to see what your donation dollars have done for those affected by hurricanes
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.