BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Before donating to Hurricane Ian relief, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of South Central Louisiana is cautioning donors to look out for possible scams.

“It’s your responsibility to monitor your giving. If the money doesn’t go to the cause, then you’ve defeated the purpose of giving. Give with your heart but also with your head. Don’t make a decision solely based on emotions. You have to investigate before you donate,” said Carmen Million, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana.

BBB shares the following tips for those looking to donate to Hurricane Ian relief:

  1. Is the disaster appeal clear? The contribution request should clearly identify what disaster relief activities you are supporting. There are many possibilities such as temporary shelter, food, medical care and other emergency needs. Don’t assume what they do based solely on the group’s name.
  2. Does the charity already have a presence in the impacted area? Charities that already have support staff in the impacted areas are more likely to deliver help quickly at a time of immediate need.
  3. Is the charity an experienced relief organization? Experienced relief organizations will be able to provide help with greater speed and efficiency than a newly created effort.
  4. If considering crowdfunding, do you know its procedures? Some crowdfunding sites take measures to vet postings after a disaster, others don’t. Review the site’s policies and procedures to find out. If in doubt, it is always safest to donate to people who you personally know and trust.
  5. Does the organization meet the 20 BBB Charity Standards? We recommend donating to charities that meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Visit BBB’s Give.org to access free evaluative reports on charities.
  6. When in doubt check it out. Do your research before making a donation.

The following organizations are legitimately providing Hurricane Ian relief:

Another way for Louisianans to donate to Hurricane Ian relief is through blood donations. Blood centers in the state are asking for people to make an appointment. To learn more about donating blood for Hurricane Ian victims, click here.

Governor John Bel Edwards approved the use of resources to aid Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian on Wednesday and Thursday. National Guard personnel, equipment, and supplies are headed to areas affected by the storm.

After the storm’s passing, President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for Florida and ordered federal relief for the state’s recovery efforts, including property loss and home repair loans, debris removal reimbursement, and emergency protective measures, according to a Thursday news conference.