How to Help Flood Victims: 4 Easy Ways to Donate
In the aftermath of severe flooding, community members face the daunting task of trying to rebuild their lives. It can take months to repair homes and businesses, and many have to cope with complete property loss.
If you’d like to help flood victims but aren’t sure where to start, our disaster relief guide offers a few ideas to point you in the right direction. From medical services to construction work to food and water distribution, many ways exist to help flood victims recover and rebuild. This article lists programs that help those affected and outlines the best ways to donate to flood recovery efforts.
Flood facts that may surprise you
- Did you know that one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home?
- Floods in the US kill more people every year than tornadoes and hurricanes, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
- Over the last 50 years, the US has seen a 20% increase in the heaviest downpours, according to American Rivers.
- Rising sea levels and extreme weather could cause $32 billion of flood damage to at-risk U.S. homes by 2051, according to flood research from First Street Foundation.
- Floodplains in the US will grow by 40 to 45% over the next 90 years, according to American Rivers.
Government programs for flood relief
From unemployment relief to mortgage help, the government offers resources for individuals and families who may not have had a disaster survival kit. These three government programs help flood victims get back on their feet.
When a natural accident strikes, it can disrupt your entire life, including your employment. If you can no longer make it to work because of flooding or your place of employment is no longer safe, the United States Department of Labor offers up to 26 weeks of benefits for those eligible.
If you’ve lost your home due to flooding and are looking to rebuild or purchase another home, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can help. Its program offers mortgage insurance to protect lenders from defaulting on their mortgages. Your home must be located in a presidentially declared accident area, among other requirements, to be eligible.
For those who need help rebuilding after a flood, FEMA offers coverage for Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC). The program offers up to $30,000 to retrofit a building to reduce the potential for future flood damage. To be eligible, you must be a flood insurance policyholder through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Volunteer with organizations that help flood victims
After flood waters recede, getting communities back up and running takes enormous work. Relief organizations need to develop a disaster recovery plan for what to do after a flood and rely on volunteers to help with everything from clearing debris and mud to passing out food, water and medical supplies. Below are three nonprofit organizations that help flood victims and need volunteers for recovery efforts.
This organization specializes in disaster relief and recovery and helps in short and long-term flood help efforts. In the immediate wake of natural disasters, All Hands and Hearts deployed volunteers to the affected areas to help rebuild schools, homes, and other community infrastructure. Its volunteer program houses and feeds individuals who are accepted into the program.
Feeding America has food banks nationwide and 2,400 trucks standing by, making it easy for the organization to mobilize after natural disasters. In 2022, Feeding America provided nearly 5 billion meals. Volunteers help sort, stack, and package food that will be shipped out, among other tasks needed to keep recovery efforts running.
Safety is always the primary concern when a natural accident occurs. But after food, water, and health needs are met, the focus shifts to the arduous task of recovery and rebuilding. This is where Samaritan’s Purse comes in—the nonprofit works to help people and take on these construction and cleanup projects after accidents like flood relief help. Volunteers help with work that can include roof tarping, debris cleanup, chainsaw work, and more in the area.
Four of the best ways to donate to flood victims
If you aren’t able to volunteer in person with relief organizations, there are other ways to make a difference and send much needed flood help. These four ideas allow you to donate to flood victims, and three don’t even require leaving your couch. Keep reading for how to help flood victims.
1. Donate airline miles and credit card points
Do you have airline miles or credit card points collecting dust? Dozens of charities partner with airlines and credit card companies so that unused miles and points can save lives. Your airline miles may help first responders travel for flood relief help or provide emergency transportation to injured individuals. On the other hand, credit card points can be converted into cash donations for charities like Mercy Medical Angels or Team Rubicon.
2. Donate your vehicle
While gifting an old car to charity may not be an option for everyone, this type of contribution can go a long way to help if it’s the right time for you. Habitat for Humanity recycles old vehicles and receives 80 percent of the gross revenue. These funds help the organization provide emergency shelter through its Disaster Risk and Reduction Response program, as well as its regular home construction projects.
3. Donate blood
Did you ever think you could save three lives in less than 10 minutes? By donating a pint of blood to the American Red Cross, you can do that, making it an incredibly impactful way to make a difference from anywhere. The entire American Red Cross process takes 45 minutes, with the actual blood donation portion taking 8-10 minutes. Your donation will be vital following flood recovery efforts and as flood victims are transported to nearby hospitals. For more information on donating blood with the American Red Cross, visit the American Red Cross online.
4. Raise money through crowdfunding
Sometimes, figuring out the best things to donate to flood victims is hard. Crowdfunding is a quick way to donate to flood victims who need help immediately. Through GoFundMe, you can launch an accident fundraiser and begin sharing it with your network of friends and family members within minutes for flood relief help. Share the fundraiser across Instagram, TikTok, and other social media to get traction. GoFundMe’s fundraising model allows you to keep more of the donations you receive, which means more flood victims can receive help.
Our blog contains crowdfunding resources to help you along the way, like tips on running a successful disaster relief fund or general fundraising ideas for disaster relief. Our disaster fundraising guide can help you create a compelling fundraiser to help people specifically for flood relief efforts.
Take action and support flood recovery efforts now
Making a difference after a tragedy doesn’t have to mean large cash donations or hours of volunteer work. Learning how to help flood victims and taking action is the most important step. Sometimes, the simplest efforts can be the most impactful. Sign up for a GoFundMe today and begin raising money for flood victims when they need it most.