How To Help Hurricane Ian Victims in Florida – Ways to Donate and Volunteer
Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a major Category 4 storm along the southwestern coast of Florida at 3:05
Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a major Category 4 storm along the southwestern coast of Florida at 3:05 local time. According to the National Hurricane Center the storm made impact near Cayo Costa, a tiny island directly to the west of the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area. Hurricane Ian hit with sustained winds of almost 150 mph. Just before it hit Florida, the storm had wind speeds of 155mph, just two miles per hour short of a category five hurricane.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday reached out to local government officials in Florida to offer support and “let them know their communities have the full force of the federal government behind them," according to the White House.
The Biden-Harris Administration has pre-positioned equipment, resources, and Federal responders to respond to Hurricane Ian. If you are in the storm’s path, please follow the guidance of local officials. https://t.co/1f4mNlZF6d— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 28, 2022
President Biden called the mayors of Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Sarasota among other officials to discuss their needs and left messages for the other officials he was unable to reach. According to the White House, the president spoke to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night.
“This is going to be a nasty, nasty day, two days,” said Gov Ron DeSantis (R) in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Hurricane Ian is estimated to leave some areas with over 2 feet of rain accompanied by an 18ft storm surge.
“This is going to be a nasty, nasty day, two days."
“We understand that a storm of this magnitude is going to require an effort over an extended period of time,” said DeSantis. “We’re going to step up, we’re going to be there for folks. We’re going to make sure folks get back on their feet and southwest Florida comes back better than ever.”
As of this posting more than 1.5 million homes and businesses across Florida are without power. Mandatory curfews have been issued for Collier County – that includes Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City – the city of Fort Myers starting Wednesday night. Tampa, St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Fort Myers airports remain closed.
Disaster relief organizations have been mobilizing ahead of the storm and are prepared to deliver supplies and other life-saving items to those in need. Hurricane Ian, as with most major hurricanes, will leave behind devastation that will be felt for years in Florida. With that in mind, below is a list of resources to volunteer, donate or get help.
THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
The American Red Cross is a go-to for many who want to help and those asking for help. The organization is asking people to help with relief efforts in two ways: giving money and donating blood.
Those wishing to give a monetary contribution can visit www.redcross.org
For those who prefer to call, the number is 800-RED-CROSS, or you can text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation.
THE SALVATION ARMY
The Salvation Army reports that all of its command centers on the west side of Florida are prepared to respond as soon as Hurricane Ian passes. The Salvation Army has crews set up that are prepared to be on the ground for two weeks with a second set of aid workers prepped to replace them if needed past that time. The best way to donate to Hurricane Ian victims though the Salvation Army is by making a monetary donation via phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Project HOPE is an organization that helps in five main areas: disasters and health crises; infectious diseases; noncommunicable diseases; maternal, neonatal and child health; and health policy. In the case of disaster, Project Hope provides direct health care services, equipping clinics and hospitals, training local health care workers, and delivering solutions that help people access the health care services they need.
To donate those in need after Hurricane Ian is long gone via Project Hope, click this link for more information.
THE HUMANE SOCIETY
For those wanting to help pets that were displaced, lost or abandoned, the Humane Society is a great option. They have set up a page on their website specifically for that purpose. “We're working with communities in the path of hurricane Ian to transport animals out of harm's way. Help make our relief work possible whenever animals need us,” states the organization.
To volunteer your time:
Those who want to come to Florida to volunteer can sign up through an official portal: https://www.volunteerflorida.org/.