Since Hurricane Ian hit Cuba on Tuesday and Florida on Wednesday, millions of people lost power and officials launched a massive relief effort as they try to determine the storm’s death toll.
The storm—a category 4 hurricane with 155 mile per hour winds at its peak—destroyed homes, businesses, cars and major infrastructure in its path. It brought record levels of flooding and storm surges. Rescue efforts are still underway in some parts of Florida to help those trapped by the storm.
Hurricane Ian hit the Pinar Del Rio province in Cuba and Southwest Florida the hardest, resulting in large-scale electricity blackouts and damage to water systems that left some without clean tap water. Many of those who were unable to evacuate relocated to shelters and are seeking emergency assistance.
Here’s how to help the victims of Hurricane Ian.
How to help Cuba and other areas impacted by the storm
Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization, is also coordinating giving medical supplies to communities in need throughout Florida, Cuba, Georgia and the Carolinas. They’re accepting monetary donations online to aid the effort.
GoFundMe has set up a Hurricane Ian Relief page for various relief projects, which the site said was verified by its “Trust & Safety team.” Donors can donate to individuals, families, or businesses that lost possessions or suffered damage.
How to help Florida
The Florida Disaster Fund is the state’s official private fund to assist communities with emergency and disaster recovery efforts. The group accepts online payments and checks, and donors can make contributions by visiting www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or by texting “DISASTER” to 20222. Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis said on Wednesday that funds donated would help “those affected by Hurricane Ian.”
Volunteer Florida, true to its name, is connecting volunteers to communities in Florida that are in need of help after the storm, partnering with authorities, local aid groups, and larger organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. They are asking for volunteers who can provide mental health services and sign up for shifts at temporary shelters.
CORE, a nonprofit that coordinates relief efforts in underserved communities, is accepting monetary donations to help local partners based on their needs, particularly in the heaviest impacted and most vulnerable communities.
Dream Defenders, a BIPOC-centered organization that works to empower young people and communities of color, is accepting water, non-perishable food, medical supplies, and hygiene products. They are also accepting money donations and volunteers.
Operation BBQ is providing meals to first responders and those impacted by the storm in Florida. They’re looking for both donations and volunteers.
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