Hurricane Disaster Relief 2017


Monetary donations allow voluntary organizations to respond quickly to the recovery efforts and provide direct financial assistance to disaster survivors.

The best way for individuals to assist people facing disaster is to make a financial donation to one of the voluntary organizations currently working in those areas. Researching the work of organizations will help you determine where to direct your donation. 

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) continue to support Harvey relief operations in Texas and are ready to support any operations in Florida for Irma. To learn more go to their page dedicated to Harvey Assistance

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)'s containing information and links to questions most commonly asked during Irma and based on the recent experience of Harvey. 

Assistance to Hurricane Evacuees 

The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development has a list of resources offering assistance to 2017 hurricane evacuees. Find out more information about these resources here.

Find out more information about where you can receive help in New Jersey here

The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) provides an efficient way for community pharmacies to process claims for prescription medications, vaccines, and limited durable medical equipment (DME) provided to individuals who are from a disaster area declared by the president and who do not have any form of health insurance coverage. Find out if you are eligible here

The Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is implementing a new Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) in response to devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. 

New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM)

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) continues to monitor Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria response activities. Representatives of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army from the state of New Jersey have been deployed to the impacted regions in order to offer support and guidance to their respective agencies involved in mass care operations. 

Please remember that at this time, cash donations work best to help suppor the impacted areas. The State of New Jersey has provided a link for people who want to help with relief efforts by making a financial donation to groups inolved in the recovery efforts in the impacted regions. 

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) continue to support relieft operations in impacted areas. To learn more visit their dedicated page offering hurricane assistance by donating or volunteering

Additionally, any hurricane disaster victims from either Harvey, Irma or Maria that relocate to New Jersey should contact FEMA immediately with their current location. FEMA can be reached at 1-800-621-3362. If individuals choose to self-evacuate, they may cut themselves off from certain FEMA assistance, and there are very limited resources available to assist in NJ. 

Hurricane Maria Relief 

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has established a website whereby financial donations can be made to support recovery operations. 

Hurricane Irma Relief 

Individuals can text "Irma" to 898-211 for assistance. 

Hurricane Harvey Relief

The United Way of Greater Houston is raising funds to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. They have launched the 'United Way Relief Fund' to help meet storm-related needs and recovery in the community. You can also find information on helping all areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey and disaster relief from the United Ways of Texas

If you need assistance with cleanup after the storm, call 1-800-451-1954 or 844-965-1386 to be placed on a list. Disaster recovery organizations will contact you if they are able to help you with clean-up efforts in your area. 

To find a shelter, visit the American Red Cross for a list of current open shelters. 

Texas has also established a Harvey Relief Fund to aid in disaster recovery efforts. Visit their website for more information on these efforts. 

Learn about the work being done

Interested donors can visit to obtain a list of credible responding agencies for international emergencies. InterAction is an alliance organization with over 180 non-governmental U.S.-based organizations that work around the world. These organizations are committed to working with the world's poor and vulnerable. also offers valuable, unbiased information on making informed decisions when supporting charities. In addition, donors can visit

The American Red Cross Online Disaster Newsroom is a good resource for current information on the organization's activities.

The United Way and its partners work to rebuild lives and communities struck by disasters. 

Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates charitable efforts and works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,500 of America's largest charities, offers advice on how your money will best be spent and evaluates emergency response efforts.

From FEMA - For those interested in learning more about how best to donate or provide assistance in response to national disasters, click here.

Verifying the credibility of an organization

To verify the legitimacy of any organization you can check Charitable Registration Section of the NJ Attorney General's website, or call 973-504-6215. Because the website is only updated monthly, any new charity set up for a unique emergency relief and recovery effort may not be posted yet. With this in mind, it is probably best to call for the most current listing.

The FBI released recommendations on how consumers can protect themselves against fraudulent relief appeals. Internet users who receive appeals to donate money are urged to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause. Read the most recent FBI recommended guidelines here.

You can find more information on spotting and avoiding common scams, fraud and schemes here

When Disaster Strikes... How to Donate or Volunteer Successfully! (pdf) by DHS/FEMA

Page last modified/reviewed on October 13, 2017

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