How to help victims of Hurricane Ian


▶ Watch Video: A view of Hurricane Ian’s destruction on Florida’s west coast

The massive scope of the devastating effects from Hurricane Ian is still emerging. The storm, which temporarily knocked out power to all of Cuba and brought record levels of storm surge and flooding to Florida, is now on its way up the East Coast.

Videos of the hurricane’s aftermath show people forced to the upper levels of their homes as water poured in, entire neighborhoods underwater and countless homes damaged. Several deaths have been blamed on the storm and the toll is expected to go higher.

The Red Cross and other groups are already on the move to help those who have been impacted. Here’s how to help.

Emergency disaster services

  • The American Red Cross was on the ground in Florida even before Hurricane Ian made landfall, with hundreds of volunteers and trained disaster workers helping with relief efforts. The organization has mobilized dozens of trucks with cots and blankets and tens of thousands of relief supplies. They are accepting monetary and blood donations. CBS is supporting the American Red Cross.
  • The Salvation Army is working to provide food and shelter for those impacted. The group has sent members to provide assistance in Florida and Georgia, and has said it will help those in North Carolina and South Carolina, if needed. They are also providing ongoing aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.
  • Florida has set up its own Disaster Fund to help with disaster response and recovery. Donations made to the fund go to the nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation, and up to 3% of each donation will be taken to cover administrative costs.
  • United Way is accepting donations to help volunteers respond to those impacted by Ian in Florida’s Suncoast region – Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties. The funds will be used to help with storm-related needs and support long-term recovery, according to the group.
  • You can donate to CORE, a nonprofit that focuses on crisis response for underserved communities, is coordinating with local groups and the Florida government to provide relief supplies for Ian’s victims. They are specifically focused on the hardest-hit areas and the most vulnerable populations impacted.
  • Donations to Direct Relief will go beyond Florida. The group provides medical aid for Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Cuba, including essential medications such as antibiotics, wound care, chronic disease medications and more. The group is also providing assistance to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.
  • Global Giving is using donations to help provide food, water, shelter, hygiene products and fuel to those impacted, as well as to provide long-term support to communities in Cuba, Florida and other areas impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Helping individuals

  • GoFundMe has set up a dedicated support hub to point people to verified fundraisers. According to the website, every fundraiser listed on the hub has been vetted by their “Trust and Safety experts.” Fundraisers listed on the page also come with guaranteed protection for a year, so if there is an issue discovered, donations are reimbursed.
  • World Central Kitchen, a group that provides meals to people impacted by disasters, is accepting donations. A team flew out to Sanibel, one of Florida’s barrier islands that was cut off from the mainland by the hurricane, the day after it hit.
  • Volunteer Florida has several volunteer positions open for people to directly help those who have been impacted.

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