Since Hurricane Florence made landfall last weekend on the coast of North Carolina, it caused a lot of damage and heavy flooding. Due to this around half a million people, both in North as well as South Carolina, have been with no power, and water levels of the rivers have kept rising, forcing even more people out of their homes. In fact, the water levels have been reported to reach even twice the size of a normal flood stage, according to the National Weather Service, and are expected to remain this way through October.
Since the storm made landfall, it has also claimed at least 43 lives, while there is property damage all across Virginia, North and South Carolina. Google has decided to step in and help the victims of the storm, by showing a banner on top of Gmail for some of its users. Google stated that it’s going to match donations for up to $1 million, in order to help with the relief efforts. The company is going to partner with the non-profit Network for God so that it can both collect and distribute all off the funds they raise. Meanwhile, all of the donations that are going to be made, are going to be directed to the American Red Cross, which they are working with because they have a “strong track record” and are already helping with relief in the region.
Google has previously also matched donations for other disasters, including both hurricanes that struck the US last year, Irma and Harvey. Google has also raised money for other humanitarian effort crises, such as the 2015 program to provide help to the refugees across Europe, where they matched up to $5.5 million in donations.
There are also other companies that are currently helping relief efforts after Hurricane Florence like Amazon, that enabled all of the Alexa users to be able to make donations just by saying the voice command “Alexa, donate to Hurricane Florence disaster relief”. The company is also sending trucks filled with food and other donated items to the region. Airbnb has been offering free rooms to anyone who is fleeing the hurricane, while Apple also donated $1 million to the American Red Cross.