In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and recent earthquakes in Mexico City, our thoughts are with the victims and families affected by natural disasters. The City of Chicago has offered its support to the impacted regions and is providing resources as needed. Mayor Emanuel encourages Chicagoans to consider supporting organizations assisting with relief efforts and the long recovery ahead in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other affected areas.
Donating in Emergencies
According to FEMA, cash donations are preferred to allow organizations the most flexibility to address needs on the ground. Please do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time. If you choose to donate, be sure to contribute funds through a trusted, legitimate organization and website. Check Charity Navigator to determine the best organizations to donate to.
Here is a list of verified charities and organizations assisting with relief efforts where you can donate or volunteer:
Earthquake in Mexico
Volunteering in Emergencies
Volunteers should not self-deploy at this time as this will create an additional burden for first responders. To ensure volunteer safety and the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go to affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear, and valid identification.
To search for volunteer opportunities, visit National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).
The Puerto Rican Arts Alliance and National Museum of Mexican Art Relief Fund is accepting donations for emergencies in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Puerto Rican Agenda is partnering with New Life Covenant to send supplies and generators to Puerto Rico. You can donate via its "Pallets to Planes" campaign on its website to support relief efforts.
If you are searching for family members or checking on the welfare of relatives in Mexico or Puerto Rico, here are several resources:
In Puerto Rico, emergency management officials recommend:
Only send one email due to high volume. Include your contact info and as many details about your family member or friend as possible.
You can also call the Puerto Rico Washington D.C. Office at 202-800-3133 or 202-778-0710. Staffers are gathering contact information and working to connect with those who remain unreachable or missing as the island begins to recover.
Learn more about the City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.