HHI Disaster Relief Hub

HHI Release on Hurricane Michael, Landfall October 10th, 2018

Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida panhandle, Wednesday morning, October 10, 2018 with top sustained winds measured at 145 MPH. The National Hurricane Center has described Michael as “potentially catastrophic” and possibly the worst hurricane to have hit the panhandle.


For up to date resources and information on the federal response to Hurricane Michael the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a list of recommendations. For most up to date news and alerts visit @fema and @NHC_Atlantic on Twitter.

Shelters are open throughout Florida. The American Red Cross has asked residents to bring food and water supplies with them to the shelters.

The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative strongly recommends financial donations over in-kind donations.

The American Red Cross is the nation’s premier emergency response organization, bringing shelter, food and comfort to those affected by disaster. However there are other many other relief organizations mobilizing to respond to Hurricane Florence.

To research organizations we recommend visiting disasterphilanthopy.org or charitynavigator.org or see our shortlist below for recommendations.

We recommend donating to:

The American Red Cross: Donate

As the second major hurricane in just weeks is set to hit the southeast, the American Red Cross is preparing to help tens of thousands of people in the path of Hurricane Michael, even while continuing efforts in the Carolinas for families still trying to recover from Hurricane Florence.

Evacuation centers are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until the storm passes and weather conditions improve, and it should be noted that some of these centers may not have cots, food, running water or electricity. In time, and if needed, local government officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters if residents can’t return home after the storm passes.

The Red Cross supports both pre-landfall evacuation centers and post-landfall emergency shelters with trained workers, shelter supplies and other aid. Anyone coming to an evacuation center should bring items like blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, and items for children.

In advance of Hurricane Michael, the Red Cross is mobilizing trained volunteers, shelter supplies and other equipment, preparing to provide shelter for tens of thousands of people until they can return home or find other places to stay. The Red Cross is also seeking to partner with organizations that can support the temporary placement of household pets; please regularly check media to best understand where those facilities are located.

We welcome you to share your knowledge and expertise by recommending additional organizations and relief efforts taking place on the ground. Please email hhi@harvard.edu if you would like to offer suggestions for the bulletin board.