As it makes landfall in Florida, Hurricane Eta has re-intensified its force after wreaking havoc across Central America. Mudslides, flooding, and high winds stretching from Panama to Honduras and Mexico have contributed to a death toll that may rise above 150, according to The Guardian. In Florida, the Weather Channel predicts up to 75 mph winds and a possible storm surge on the west coast as the hurricane hits. If you want to help with the Hurricane Eta relief effort, you can donate to local charities and international disaster disaster funds.
The impact of Hurricane Eta is going to last a while after the final wind fades. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) warned in a statement that there are now thousands of people in shelters across the affected countries, as homes have been swept away. Those shelters might prove to be hotbeds for COVID-19 transmission unless governments and aid relief organizations can act quickly. The IFRC estimates around 2.5 million people across the region have been affected already — and that might increase once the hurricane makes its way through Florida.
If you have the means to donate, you can support national and international aid efforts on the ground, whether it's for building shelters, helping with COVID-19 prevention, providing food and medical supplies, or helping citizens recover and rebuild. Here are four suggestions of places to donate.
Local & International Red Cross
The IFRC is launching a large-scale response to Hurricane Eta that will stretch across the affected countries in Central America all the way up to Mexico, including kitchen kits, tarpaulins, and PPE. They offer the choice of donating to their coordinated efforts, which bring together Red Cross organizations from all over the Central American region, or to a particular local Red Cross. The American Red Cross of Central Florida is running hurricane preparedness programs on their website, and also accepting donations for Floridians in preparation for Eta's landfall; they commit 90% of all donations to helping those in need.
International non-profit Christian organization World Vision is working in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala to help survivors of Hurricane Eta. They're putting together aid packages for communities in affected areas, and hope to bring food to up to 11,000 people. One thousand families in Nicaragua will also receive emergency aid bundles including hygiene kits, mosquito nets, and clothes. You can donate directly to their efforts to support communities after Hurricane Eta via their Disaster Relief Fund on their website.
Global Giving, a non-profit donation drive platform, is hosting its own relief fund for Hurricane Eta. You can either donate to its general emergency disaster relief fund, or donate directly to three separate charities named as beneficiaries. Hurricane Eta Relief Feminine Hygiene Kits, by the Highland Support Project, will bring hygiene supplies including tampons and baby formula to remote indigenous communities. Hurricane Eta Relief For Utila funnels funding to the badly-hit island of Utila in Honduras, while United We Help Honduran Families will focus on supporting the 1.5 million Hondurans affected by Hurricane Eta in rebuilding their communities.
BrightFunds Hurricane Eta Relief & Recovery Fund
Brightfunds, a workplace philanthropy organization, has set up a Hurricane Eta fund that channels all donations to four separate charities working for hurricane recovery across the U.S. and Central America. Alongside the American Red Cross, they're also funding Direct Relief, a disaster relief charity that's flying in medical supplies, water sanitation charity WaterAid, and the United States Fund for UNICEF.