Exactly 13 months after Hurricane Irma barreled into the Florida Keys on September 10, 2017, Hurricane Michael struck Florida’s Panhandle with even stronger wind gusts and greater speed.
The massive storm, just shy of a Category 5 hurricane, was the most intense on record ever to hit the region. With no prior record of any such storm, hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children and families braced for the worst.
“With 22 counties under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders, we hope people are able to safely return to their homes soon, said Sarah Thompson, Save the Children’s director for U.S. emergencies. “But while children and families are displaced during this crisis, Save the Children will be there to help them recover.”
FAQs: What you need to know about Hurricane Michael
Who was affected by the storm?
Hurricane Michael’s path is affecting some of Florida’s and Georgia’s poorest counties. With high rates of poverty, they are likely the least able to absorb the storm’s fury.
By the time it is over, the storm could impact 2.8 million people, including 168,000 children living in poverty – the children whose families are least likely to be able to recover on their own.
Already, by midafternoon on October 10, 2018 many homes were underwater. Nearly 78,000 people were without power.
At least 600 child-care providers and 539 schools were in the direct path of Michael.
How is Save the Children responding to Hurricane Michael?
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Save the Children‘s team are providing immediate support for children and families affected by the storm.
Essential child-focused supplies are being delivered in the area, and we are coordinating with national and state partners to assess children’s immediate needs in shelters and communities.
Our immediate priority is to distribute critical supplies and other support for young children and families.
In the days and weeks ahead, our response will include working with damaged schools and child-care centers so children can get back to their normal routines as quickly as possible and parents can return to work.
How can I help Hurricane Michael survivors?
Florida’s children need your help now.
A donation to Save the Children’s Hurricane Michael Children’s Relief Fund will help support the urgent needs of children and families. Please donate now.
To learn more about Save the Children’s work in Florida and across the United States, visit: savethechildren.org/usa