As Hurricane Irma approaches, Orlando will need volunteers. Here's how you can help


  • Chabad Lubavitch/Flickr
As the storm barrels towards Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has called for 17,000 volunteers to assist with preparations for Hurricane Irma and its aftermath.

Nearly 9,000 people have already reached out to state-wide organizations looking to provide assistance, according to an update from Scott's office.

Volunteer Florida
has partnered with the American Red Cross and other organizations across the state to provide aid. To volunteer, go to or call 1-800-FL-Help-1.

Volunteer Florida has 43 Community Response Teams on standby waiting to provide aid as needed. Floridans wanting to help, must first fill out the online application. After completion they will receive expedited training about shelter operations.

Within the past 24 hours the organization has received 250 calls from people interested in helping and more than 1,900 have registered online to volunteer.

So far, 1,000 state employees and 5,700 members of the public have registered to volunteer with the American Red Cross. The organization is also sending 26 tractor trailers to the State Logistics Response Center, 150 trailers to the State Farmers Market and 100 emergency response vehicles in North Florida. They are also sending 1,000 volunteers.

A list of organizations seeking cash donations or volunteer efforts can be found here.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.