By Thursday night it was clear that South Florida would be spared the wrath of Hurricane Matthew. But other places were not so fortunate.
In Haiti, the death toll is at almost 900 and is expected to climb. In The Bahamas, 100 mph winds devastated the island and storm surges are expected to reach up to 15 feet. In Cuba, 24-foot waves slammed into the island, destroying homes.
In our own state, just a few hours north, the eye of the storm stayed 40 miles offshore, but the hurricane cane still caused flooding in Jacksonville and St. Augustine leaving streets completely unnavigable.
The Miami Foundation compiled a great list of places to help throughout the Caribbean here.
Locally, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime has created the South Florida Haiti Relief Group, a coalition of elected representatives and community leaders directing relief efforts. They’ve chosen the Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center to collect local donations. You can contribute through SantLa.org’s PayPal here. You can also text HAITI to 52000.
If you want to donate your time, there’s a very cool way to do so: you can help build accurate maps of Haiti to help emergency relief efforts go more smoothly. It’s called HOT tasking.
Here’s the gist: When a major disaster hits, roads wash out, buildings crumble, and in some cases, entire villages are destroyed. HOT Open Street Mapping asks volunteers to get online and help document those geographic changes to help aid workers and governments deliver assistance where it is needed most and avoid dangerous situations while they’re at it. (You can do this remotely, you don’t need to be in Haiti to map the buildings — follow the tutorials on the website.)
Try it out on their site and, if you want to do more of it, Maptime Miami and Code for Miami will be hosting a tutorial on Monday night at CIC Miami (our home, btw). Come out and help.
What other opportunities to help are we missing? Let us know, we’ll keep updating this post and sharing out the new information.