Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ian. We know this is a difficult time, and the American Red Cross is working around the clock with partners to provide support and comfort to those in need.
As of Wednesday evening, more than 33,000 people sought refuge in about 260 evacuation shelters across Florida to escape Hurricane Ian. The number of people seeking shelter could increase in the coming days as power outages continue and people leave homes too damaged to stay.
It will be days before the extent of the damage left by Ian is revealed, and the danger is not over. Ian is still battering Florida with high winds and heavy rain, and in the coming days the storm will threaten states as far north as Virginia with even more flooding. Ian will make a second landfall on Friday and the entire South Carolina coast is under a hurricane warning. As the storm heads north, the Red Cross is working with partners and local officials in several states to be ready to help if needed.
This storm, along with earlier wildfires in the west and storms in Puerto Rico and Alaska, are clear examples of the increasing frequency and intensity of weather disasters. Year after year, the Red Cross supports families struggling to cope. In the years 2020 and 2021 alone, we averaged one major new disaster response every 10 days with Red Cross volunteers continuously on the ground, setting up shelters, organizing hot meals and sheltering people. thousands of people with nowhere to go.
RED CROSS RESPONSE Powerful storms like Hurricane Ian create widespread devastation and more needs than any single organization can meet. The Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to ensure people get help. they need as soon as possible.
Some 730 Red Cross trained disaster relief workers are supporting this relief effort and hundreds more are on the way. Ahead of the storm, the Red Cross mobilized 83 trucks loaded with extra beds, blankets and comfort kits, as well as tens of thousands of relief supplies, to prepare to help up to 60,000 people. Emergency response vehicles are also prepositioned throughout the state.
To help patients in Florida, the Red Cross has sent several hundred blood products to ensure blood remains available for patients in areas affected by the storm. We are ready to send additional support if needed.
As conditions slowly improve over the next few days, response efforts will intensify as evacuation centers transition to emergency shelters with more robust services. Find out how the Red Cross prepared for Ian in this video.
ACQUIRE HELP Be careful and listen to the advice of emergency officials. If you need help, contact trained professionals by calling 911. If you need a safe place to stay, find open shelters on redcross.org, the free Red Cross emergency app or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).
You can also find shelters on floridadisaster.org or by following your county and city’s local authorities on social media or monitoring local news for information. Dial 311 if you need transport to an emergency shelter. Download the emergency app by searching for “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to redcross.org/apps.
To help keep people healthy, everyone in Red Cross shelters is required to wear face masks.
We encourage people planning to stay at a Red Cross shelter to bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items, and important documents. Don’t forget to bring special items for children, such as diapers, formula, and toys, or for family members with special needs.
Our workers will do everything possible to comfortably accommodate service animals and pets. If you are going to a shelter, please bring your own animal cage, supplies, medications, and food whenever possible. Depending on the situation, pets may need to be housed in a different location with the support of animal welfare groups. Please consider visiting redrover.org/hurricaneian for additional pet resources, including a list of pet-friendly bug out shelters and other tips.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Our work has only just begun. We will work side by side with our partners to help those in need for weeks and months to come. To help those affected by Hurricane Ian, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word IAN to 90999 to donate $10. Your donation is a commitment to help those in need, and every donation counts. Financial donations allow the Red Cross to prepare, intervene and help people recover from this disaster.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD People in unaffected areas are being asked to donate blood to help ensure that patients in affected areas continue to have access to vital blood. Learn more here.
As the storm targets Georgia and the Carolinas, the Red Cross predicts an increase in blood drive cancellations in the Southeast as more communities face hazardous weather. Please schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets today using the Red Cross Blood Donation app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800 -733-2767).
COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP Generous donations from members of the annual Red Cross Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Response Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters, large and small, to intervene whenever a disaster strikes and to help families through the recovery process.
Million Dollar ADGP Members:
Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Bank of America; Best buy; Caterpillar Foundation; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Wholesale Costco; Delta Airlines; Elevance Health Foundation; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft Corp. ; National Foundation; PayPal; PetSmart charities; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Vision; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
$500,000 ADGP Members:
Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Bread Financial; Calmoseptine, Inc.; Capital 1; CarMax; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental; general dollar; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Company; General Motors; Google.org The Home Depot Foundation; International Paper; The JM Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; Mutual freedom of insurance; Lockheed Martin Company; MasterCard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Organon; PepsiCo Foundation; selling power ; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Stanley Black & Decker; Target; The companies TJX, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and the Wawa Foundation.
ADGP Members $250,000:
7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; The AES company; Ameriprise Financial; Assuring; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; CDW; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; NAC insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; CSX; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Duke Energy; Dutch Bros Foundation; Fair; FirstEnergy Corporation; Gopuff; Port Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; HCA Health; Hewlett Packard Corporate Foundation; HP Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; LHC Group; Major League Baseball; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Martin Marietta; Mattress business; McKesson Foundation; MetLife Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwest Mutual; Former Dominion Freight Line; Pacific Life Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Prudential; Raytheon Technologies; Reckitt; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Project, a New Venture Fund project; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Mission Band of Indians; the Lending Hand Foundation of Security Finance; ServiceNow; South West Airlines; Tata Consulting Services; U-Haul International; American Bank Foundation; and Zurich.