Tallahassee, Florida - Floridians are extending a much-needed helping hand to those affected by Tropical Storm Debby.
Volunteer Florida says hundreds of people have already stepped up to donate their time, effort and money for survivors of the record flood.
The group says the best way to help right now is to send cash donations to established disaster relief agencies. Those donations can help meet immediate needs.
Also, if you're thinking about volunteering in a flood-damaged area, make sure you check with a disaster agency first before showing up.
"Volunteers are a huge, essential part of emergency response. We've already had 200 volunteers serve 1,600 hours responding to Tropical Storm Debby. It's important to confirm the need before showing up. You want to get connected to an established relief organization or to your local volunteer center," said Jayme O'Rourke of Volunteer Florida.
O'Rourke says another thing to keep in mind is that not all relief groups can handle donated goods in the midst of a disaster so check that out before turning up with such donations.
"Some relief organizations do have the capacity to accept donated goods but it's important to confirm the need before sending them. All donations need to be sorted and transported and so even though people have great intentions when sending them, sometimes if there's an overwhelming amount of unsolicited donations it can actually inhibit the recovery process."
You can get more details on how to help by calling 1-800-FL-HELP-1. That's 1-800-354-3571.
Or go online to www.volunteerflorida.org.