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The Devastation of Hurricane Irma & How to Help


As you know, residents in Miami and the rest of Florida had several sleepless nights in the final days of Hurricane Irma’s trek toward the Florida Keys. We saw I-95 suffocated with traffic in the days and hours leading up to Irma’s landfall—Irma potentially led to the largest mass evacuation in American history—but did you know that 400,000 cars may have been left to incur Irma’s wrath by themselves? Although the evacuation prevented millions of vehicles from hitting the salvage yard, some weren’t so lucky. Here’s what you need to know about Irma’s impact and ways you can help those affected.

Hurricane Irma car damage

Photo: via Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel

A Storm for the Ages

The devastation listed above only covers the vehicular loss of Hurricane Irma. If we look at the total price tag of the disaster, the cost magnifies. Irma’s total cost is predicted to be $50 billion, which is surprisingly less than originally anticipated. Before Irma hit, the storm’s expected damage was estimated to be around $200 billion. A 20-mile difference in the storm’s trajectory would have caused a massive amount of damage to Florida’s coastal cities, so in a way, Miami was fortunate.

Still, while the damage in Florida and the southern United States was significant, the destruction of many of the Caribbean Islands will alter residents’ lives for years or even generations to come. Irma wiped out the island of Barbuda, forcing residents from the island to move to nearby Antigua. The island is now vacant, without a population for the first time in 300 years.


How We Can Help

When disaster strikes in America, we come together as a nation, our divisions dissolving for the common good, so that we may find solutions and help one another. We saw this sort of bonding and comradery when Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans in 2005, and we are seeing it now with Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey in Texas. USA Today compiled a list of charities where donations will make an immediate and direct impact on those affected by the hurricane, and we decided to give you a quick breakdown of your donation option, too:

  • The Red Cross has been instrumental in organizing coalitions of volunteers to help in both Harvey- and Irma-affected areas.
  • World Vision is a Christian organization that guarantees that 90% of all funds will go directly to those affected by the hurricane.
  • PayPal is waiving all processing fees if you set up a personal relief campaign.
  • UNICEF USA assists children and families affected by the hurricane by providing them water treatment and hygienic solutions.
  • Operations USA is a U.S. based non-profit operating out of Los Angeles that offers a diverse set of donation options that go beyond cash.
  • GoFundMe is utilizing its unique platform to offer a landing page for donations to be made directly to those most affected by the hurricane.
  • Catholic Relief Services attempts to reach a broader spectrum of individuals by directing funds to the Catholic Relief Services, which will also go toward those affected by Hurricane Jose and Maria in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and hard-hit Puerto Rico.

As we all recover from the terrifying events that unfolded, know that even a small donation can make a big difference in the lives of those affected by this year’s storms. With strength, grit, and perseverance, we can change things around for the better.

If you need help after discovering your car was flooded or destroyed after Hurricane Irma, allow South Motors BMW to stand in your corner. Call or visit our Miami BMW dealership at 16245 S Dixie Hwy to ask us about our CPO BMW models or auto service specials, and we can get you back to normal.

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