A Kentucky Army National Guard flight crew surveys disaster areas due to flooding

How to help flood victims in Kentucky

Appalachians woke up to torrential rainfalls setting new records in eastern Kentucky and leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The downpour began on July 28 and within a matter of 48 hours, the eastern portion of the state received between 8 and 10.5 inches of rain.

An onslaught of severe storming brought on flash flooding that led to widespread landslides and mudslides, claiming the lives of at least 35 people thus far, according to local officials. As the death toll continues to rise, hundreds of people are reportedly still missing in the days after the historic flooding subsided.

On Friday, President Joe Biden declared an official disaster emergency, opening up federal funding for individuals in Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Kentucky’s Gov. Andy Beshear said on Sunday that 359 displaced survivors are being housed in 15 shelters and two campgrounds at state parks. Over 10,000 Kentuckian utility customers are still without any power as of Monday, poweroutage.us reported.

More rain is on the way with the National Weather Service projecting one to two inches in rainfall per hour from showers and storms, which may cause additional flash flooding. The weather monitoring agency has kept a flood watch in effect from 9 p.m. this evening until at least Tuesday morning for 33 counties throughout the state.

READ MORE: Deadly Kentucky flood leaves Appalachian cultural center reeling

News of the Kentucky flooding has rippled across the world as local, state, federal and global organizations rush in to offer relief for those in need.

Here are some ways to help

  • On Thursday, Beshear announced the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, an online portal established to support families who are directly affected by the fatal flash flooding. There have been 8,935 donations to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund as of July 31, tallying $1,121,426.80. This fund mirrors one the state set up after tornadoes touched down in western Kentucky in Dec. 2021, which raised $52 million through more than 150,000 donations.
  • Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles also made on July 28 a rolling request for donations of bottled water, toiletries and non-perishable items between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, through Aug. 5 at the department’s building located on 105 Corporate Drive in Frankfort, Kentucky.
  • The Foundation for Appalachia Kentucky, a nonprofit based in the city of Hazard, has created the Appalachian Crisis Aid fund to collect monetary donations for those affected by the natural disaster.
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare started its own ARH Foundation Flood Relief Fund to raise donations to purchase generators, food, water, medical and other essential supplies.
  • The Kentucky Region of the American Red Cross has developed a charity site, allowing individuals to donate directly to the cause and connecting residents to its five chapter locations to learn lifesaving skills, as well as four blood donation centers.

How to avoid charity scams

  • Determine whether the organization, nonprofit or group has a proven track record of delivering aid to those in need.
  • Identify local initiatives and efforts that are based within the areas most affected by the natural disaster.
  • Beware of phone calls and emails soliciting donations.
  • Avoid unfamiliar agencies and websites. There is a history of scammers creating websites that look like donation pages after a major tragedy, but in reality were scams.