Florence Relief: How Chattanooga-area residents can help storm victims

Rescue team member Sgt. Nick Muhar, from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion, evacuates a young child as the rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence threatens his home in New Bern, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

Blowing ashore with 90 mph winds, Florence ripped apart buildings, trapped hundreds of people and flooded entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday. Several people have died as a result.

As Florence continues its devastating path inland, many residents of the Carolinas and neighboring states need our help.

We've compiled a list of ways people in our area can do so below:

Monetary donations

Hurricane relief experts say that the best way to help victims is with cash, rather than clothes.

Organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are taking donations specifically to aid those affected.

For the Red Cross, you can also Text FLORENCE to 90999 to give $10 Or Call 800-RED-CROSS.

For the Salvation Army, please visit HelpSalvationArmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Americares is a health-focused relief organization that is taking donations for emergency medicine and other supplies for people impacted by Florence.

Our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, is partnering with the Salvation Army. Learn more at the link here.

Give blood

Another way you can help people is by donating blood.

Blood Assurance says it has already sent donations to North and South Carolina, and is asking for donations.

Blood Assurance will be open extra hours this weekend. Downtown Chattanooga, Gunbarrel Road, Cleveland, Fort Oglethorpe, and Dalton locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Helping pets

The best way to help pets affected by Florence is to donate your love and time. Shelters like McKamey Animal Center and the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga need people to foster pets already in the shelters so that they can have space for animals rescued from Florence's path. Both shelters are also looking for donations of cat food and dog food, as well as pet toys.

If you are interested in adopting, fostering, or donating:

McKamey Animal Center: please email adminassistant@mckameyanimalcenter.org, call 423-305-6506, visit their website, or go to their Facebook page.

Humane Education Society: please email adopt@heschatt.org call 423-624-5302, visit their website, or go to their Facebook page.

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