It's easy for you to feel helpless during a storm as big as Florence. With one million ordered to flee their homes in the path of Hurricane Florence, there will be many ways for you to help -- but some will have a quicker impact than others.

How can you help?

Your instinct might be to pack up and ship off toiletries and food, but in reality, the greatest impact you can make is to donate cash. This way, charities will not need to process donations and can have necessities shipped immediately to those in need.

We will update this list as we learn more about the affected areas:

The FTC warns that you should avoid any charity that:

  1. Refuses to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used.
  2. Won't provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible.
  3. Uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known, reputable organization.
    Thanks you for a pledge you don’t remember making.
  4. Uses high-pressure tactics like trying to get you to donate immediately, without giving you time to think about it and do your research.
  5. Asks for donations in cash or asks you to wire money.
  6. Offers to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect the donation immediately.
  7. Guarantees sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution. By law, you never have to give a donation to be eligible to win a sweepstakes.

Charity Navigator is a great place to start when looking to donate money. Seek out charities that have 4-star ratings.