Recent Disaster Relief - How to Help

United Way Disaster Recovery Funds, United Way Network


United Way's Northern California Wildfire Relief and Recovery Fund

This fund was created to provide immediate and long-term recovery assistance to North Bay residents affected by the wildfires that have spread throughout the region.Working together, United Way of the Wine Country and United Way Bay Area will assist the residents and community agencies in Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Lake, and Mendocino counties.


United Way Harvey Relief Fund

United Way has created the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund to support local communities in Texas, Louisiana other areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Learn More


United Way Irma/Maria Recovery Fund

United Way has created the United Way Irma / Maria Recovery Fund to support local communities in the Southeast United States and Caribbean affected by Hurricane Irma. Learn More


United Way Worldwide Mexico Earthquake Recovery Fund

United Way has created the United Way Worldwide Mexico Earthquake Recovery Fund to support communities in Mexico affected by the recent earthquake. Learn More


These funds will help local United Ways support mid- and long-term recovery throughout the affected regions. With your support, we can help rebuild communities. 100% of individual donations given to these funds will be distributed to the affected areas.


Las Vegas: "Many have asked if the United Way of Southern Nevada will be starting a fund. As of October 2nd, the decision was made not to do so. We have found that United Way’s best role in these types of crises is one of community convening, healing, and recovery. We are also in communication with the 2-1-1 there to ensure they have the proper guidance and support." Donations can be made through this Go Fund Me page. 


FEMA Press Release:

Release date:  September 27, 2017

Release Number:  HQ-17-147

WASHINGTON – In the wake of a disaster, Americans have always come together with compassion and courage to ask how they can help survivors.  For Hurricane Maria, there are three ways that the public can leverage the expertise and experience of non-profit, faith- and community-based organizations and private sector partners to most effectively and efficiently help provide support for survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and ensure that an individual contribution – whether financial donation or personal volunteerism – is carried out responsibly.

The fastest way to help – cash is best

The most effective means to support recovery of communities affected by Hurricane Maria is to donate money to trusted voluntary-, faith- and community-based charitable organizations. This gives these organizations the ability to purchase what survivors need right now. In addition, when these organizations purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local and regional economy, helping businesses recover faster.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) list trusted organizations receiving donations, many of which are already coordinating relief and response efforts in the Caribbean.  To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit  You may also make financial donations to a National VOAD member organization to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to Hurricane Maria survivors.

Donating Goods

It is important to remember unsolicited donated goods (e.g., clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs) require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.  

To responsibly donate goods, the NVOAD website has information on non-profit organizations accepting or registering individual and corporate in-kind donations here.


Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations underway is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations. A list of volunteer websites is available at

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ask that volunteers not self-deploy, as unexpected arrival in affected communities creates an additional burden for first responders. Volunteer registration for Hurricane Maria can be conducted here for Puerto Rico and here for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, visit the  National VOAD for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register to volunteer here for partner organizations to reach out to you.

Patience is paramount, and the need for volunteers endures. Recovery activities associated with Hurricane Maria will require volunteer engagement for many months and years to come, and the help of many will be required.


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,,, and  Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 

September 27, 2017 - 12:51

State/Tribal Government or Region: 

Puerto Rico

U.S. Virgin Islands

Related Disaster(s):