Hurricane Relief Efforts and How You Can Help

A Haitian girl searches through the remnants of her home for possessions after it was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016

Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms can wreak havoc even in developed nations. But they can be catastrophic in countries where there is widespread poverty, deforestation and inadequate emergency services.

Strong winds, heavy rain, tidal surges, flooding and mudslides can kill or injure thousands. Children and their families who live in coastal areas — or in poorly constructed housing — can become homeless for months. Ineffective evacuation plans can also put children and their families in danger. And in the aftermath of such extreme weather events, water-borne diseases like cholera can spread rapidly.

That's why UNICEF works to enhance emergency response in vulnerable communities before disaster strikes. These efforts are particularly focused in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the South Pacific where sea levels are rising and storms are intensifying as a result of climate change

Hurricane Relief Efforts

After a storm hits, UNICEF's emergency response teams bring lifesaving relief: water purification tablets, vaccines and nutrition supplements for children and nursing mothers; tents and temporary shelters for families; school kits; counseling to help children deal with trauma and other services. UNICEF also works to reunite children who are separated from their parents.

And then UNICEF helps communities build back better by working with governments and other partners to improve education, strengthen health systems and enhance disaster preparedness.

Hurricane Donations

UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's hurricane relief efforts around the world primarily through fundraising. Contributions from supporters go directly to support UNICEF's emergency preparation, response and rebuilding efforts in vulnerable communities worldwide.

UNICEF USA has expanded its role in recent years by partnering to assist children and families affected by hurricanes that swept through parts of the U.S. After Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in September 2017, UNICEF USA coordinated with UPS and other partners on the ground to deliver clean water and emergency supplies to affected families One year later, UNICEF USA was still on the ground assisting recovery efforts in storm-damaged communities. That support included helping to rehabilitate damaged homes.

After Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas in August 2017, affecting 13 million people — including 3 million children — UNICEF USA jumped in to assist with the response, helping partners bring immediate relief and longer-term support to those impacted. That support included providing learning materials and otherwise helping teachers set up in temporary classrooms so kids whose schools had been shut down by the storm could quickly get back to learning.

Help UNICEF bring lifesaving relief to children and families in need. Every donation counts. Give with confidence

Fast Fact