Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Ian. The American Red Cross and our partners are working around the clock to comfort and support the people of Florida, even as the dangerous storm targets the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia, bringing flooding, storm surges and high winds .
RED CROSS RESPONSE Shelters are open in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia to help people who need a safe place to stay. As of Thursday evening, at least 10,000 people sought refuge in as many as 100 Red Cross and partner shelters across the three states. The overwhelming majority of shelter residents are in Florida.
Communities are under water, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are cut off from the rest of the state, homes have been swept from their foundations, more than 2 million customers are without power, and search and rescue efforts continue. . River flooding will continue through next week in central Florida.
Some 1,000 Red Cross-trained rescue workers are supporting relief efforts in Florida, and hundreds more are helping in other states on Ian’s path.
Over the next few days, Florida evacuation centers will transition to emergency shelters that can provide more robust services. It can be a difficult time, and the goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for people who need help.
Ahead of the storm, the Red Cross mobilized 83 trucks loaded with extra beds, blankets and comfort kits, along with tens of thousands of relief supplies, to prepare to help up to 60,000 Floridians. Dozens of emergency response vehicles and other trucks are also prepositioned across the state.
FIND HELP Be careful, listen to the advice of emergency officials, and don’t go home until it’s safe to do so. 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) and selecting the disaster option. You can also find shelters by following local authorities in your county and city on social media or by monitoring local news for information. In Florida, visit floridadisaster.org. In South Carolina, go to scemd.org. And in Georgia, visit gema.georgia.gov.
In Florida, the state government created a website to help locate and rescue Hurricane Ian survivors. Please go to Missing.FL.gov to complete a support form.
SHELTERS The Red Cross helps anyone in need after a disaster, and everyone is welcome in our shelters. All disaster assistance is free and we don’t require people to show ID to enter a shelter – just their name and where they lived before the disaster.
To help keep people healthy, everyone in Red Cross shelters is required to wear face masks.
People planning to stay at a Red Cross shelter should bring prescription medication, 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 The Red Cross will be alongside our partners to help people 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 Hurricane Ian’s projected path through Georgia and the Carolinas threatens to cancel more than 130 Red Cross blood drives this weekend, resulting in possibly more than 2,700 blood and platelet donations not collected. Learn more here.
People living in unaffected areas, especially those with type O blood type, are urged to donate blood now to help ensure that patients in affected areas continue to have access to vital blood. Please schedule an appointment to donate blood today using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
We anticipate further cancellations of blood drives in the South East over the coming week and fewer donors will show up to donate at drives in and around the affected areas due to poor weather conditions. With extensive flooding expected in Georgia and the Carolinas, the Red Cross is working to ensure our hospital partners have sufficient supplies in areas likely to be affected by the storm’s second landfall.
A disaster of this magnitude – a disaster that devastates critical infrastructure across a vast geographic area filled with people – requires a team effort. The Red Cross is working closely with local authorities, government agencies and other non-profit organizations to ensure people get the help they need as quickly as possible.
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.
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 company; 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.