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When communities face disaster, United Way plays a key role in helping people from all walks of life rebuild. From ensuring our first responders can act swiftly to leading long-term recovery, United Way has the experience, networks and capacity to address even the most devastating events. United Way's primary role in times of disaster is in long-term recovery, which can take 3-5 years.

In times of disaster and every day, 211 is a community’s go-to resource. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 211 specialists connect callers with the help they need, from emergency shelter and evacuation information to help with basic needs, like food. During times of disaster, 211 maintains up-to-date information on shelters and other essential resources.

During hurricanes Florence and Michael in 2018, people contacted United Way’s 211 service to ask about food, shelter, evacuation zones, road closures, and other needs.


people texted for assistance related to the hurricanes


messaged with a live agent to get urgent help


hours logged by staff and volunteers at 211 centers

Supporting Immediate Relief

Crises may be the new normal. That means we must help our communities prepare for and respond to disasters as they happen. The United Way Network is uniquely positioned to provide on-the-ground disaster response, including raising funds; providing resources like food, water and shelter; mobilizing volunteers; and engaging local partners to ensure community stability. United Way is also proud to partner with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and many others who are helping with immediate relief and evacuations.

Leading Long-Term Recovery

It's been nearly two years since hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma struck.In 2017, the U.S. suffered 16 weather and climate disasters that each caused losses in excess of $1 billion. NOAA estimates the total cost of these events at around $300 billion, making 2017 the costliest on record since 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. Rebuilding communities is costly and takes years, and we’re in it for the long haul. When the first responders leave, United Way will still be there investing in sustainable development. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

  • We serve as a convener for social service providers to assess needs and ensure the delivery of ongoing support
  • We focus investments and efforts on disaster case management, structural repairs, victims' health, and other unmet needs
  • We create innovative partnerships to address emerging needs and fill gaps

During these times of crisis and need, United Way’s network and partners committed to help rebuild lives and strengthen communities. We would like to thank everyone who helped—and continues to help—with our disaster relief and recovery efforts. Together, we are building a brighter future for communities, individuals and families. Click for a full donor list.

In 2017-18, the United Way Network raised more than $86.53 million for long-term recovery efforts related to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricanes Irma/Maria and the 2017 earthquakes in Mexico.

Almost $55.21 million has been raised for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts

Almost $30 million has been raised for Hurricane Irma/Maria recovery efforts

Almost $1.4 million has been raised for Mexico Earthquake recovery efforts

Almost $266,000 has been designated for where the money is most needed

Donate to United Way's Disaster Recovery Efforts

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.

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In 2017, the United Way Network raised more than $75.98 million for mid- and long-term recovery efforts related to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricanes Irma/Maria and the earthquake in Mexico. Almost $54.68 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts; more than $20 million for Hurricane Irma/Maria recovery efforts; more than $1.21 million for Mexico Earthquake recovery efforts and more than $90,000 was designated for where the money is most needed.