Hurricane Ian was a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane and one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the United States. It made landfall in Florida on September 28th, causing a catastrophic storm surge as high as 18 feet that flooded communities along the Gulf Coast, wrecking homes, and businesses and even taking lives along with it.
Since then, Hurricane Ian has been dubbed the second deadliest storm to strike the United States mainland in the twenty-first century, with at least 109 people killed, with 92 of those killed in Florida.
Ian tore through Cuba, knocking out its power grid, before quickly gaining strength. When the storm made landfall in Florida, its winds of 150 mph fell just short of Category 5 status.
Several days before Ian’s arrival, President Joe Biden authorized an emergency declaration through Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Search and rescue efforts continued for more than a week since Ian made landfall in Florida. Many residents and business owners are struggling to make ends meet as they recover, with housing, electricity, and food in limited supply in many areas.
These are some of the organizations rallying on the ground, as well as information on how you can help.
Volunteers and organizations from across the United States came together to assist the victims of Hurricane Ian. Michael Autwell, the owner of Circle A Consulting, a roofing company based in Texas, traveled to Florida with other business owners that brought building materials, set up emergency tarps, and carried out other tasks to assist those affected by Hurricane Ian. And, like him and everyone else, you have the opportunity to help. These are some of the legitimate organizations you can trust and donate to help the victims of hurricane Ian.
- Countless trained and skilled American Red Cross volunteers came to Florida from all other states ahead of the hurricane and are looking for donations to help them continue their efforts for a faster recovery of the victims.
- Donations to Direct Relief fund the purchase of medicines, devices, and supplies that remedy chronic gaps in health care — created all the more critical in the aftermath of Ian — assisting those who are elderly, suffer from chronic conditions, and are in need of electric power for life support machines and are at higher risk during natural catastrophes.
- Americares provides emergency medical assistance in remote and conflict areas and is seeking donations, among which will go toward financing their network of partner centers and clinics in Florida.
- The International Medical Corps is seeking donations since the deployment of a mobile medical unit in Port Charlotte upon the request of the state’s Department of Health, giving outpatient care to more than 100 people every day.
- An international humanitarian nonprofit organization, Project HOPE, is raising funds to help their state-wide disaster response, which also includes delivering essential care, medical supplies, disaster hygiene kits, and personal protective equipment.
- Feeding South Florida, a food bank affiliated with Feeding America, a national nonprofit network, is seeking donations to help relieve hunger brought in by Hurricane Ian in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties.
- Mercy Chefs, a faith-driven, Virginia-based non-profit organization founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is preparing around 30,000 meals per day in Fort Myers and is looking for financial support to continue feeding the rest of the affected people struggling to recover from hurricane Ian.
- Heart of Florida United Way, an Orlando-based organization that funds critical human services and health care programs in central Florida, has established a hurricane recovery fund and is currently accepting contributions.
Right now, hundreds of Floridians are still cleaning up their neighborhoods and working around the clock to assist people dealing with the heartbreaking devastation left behind by Hurricane Ian.
Many neighborhoods that once housed fixed-income retirees and trailer home parks are now barely recognizable. Poor conditions, such as clogged roads and heavy traffic, continue to make it difficult for people to receive assistance.
With the help and support of every organization and individual who came together to provide relief and support, we are touching the heart and lives of the people who were affected by hurricane Ian, so that no one has to face this difficult time alone. Now is the time to unite, stand up, show our support, and help them get back on their feet.