How to Help Victims of Hurricane Ian

Ian may be among the deadliest and most costly storms in U.S. history. Here’s how you can help.

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Updated on September 30, 2022.

Florida’s west coast has been ravaged by Hurricane Ian, a powerful Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds and historic storm surge. State and health officials have confirmed 21 fatalities, noting the death toll may continue to climb in the coming days amid search and rescue efforts.

Nearly two million Florida residents are still without power, and major roadways remain closed as Ian moves inland toward South Carolina as a Category 1 storm. Many homes and businesses have been decimated by high winds and record flooding.

Federal responders are working alongside nearly 5,000 members of the Florida National Guard and other state agencies to conduct search and rescue missions, support medical facilities and nursing homes, and deliver food and clean water to affected communities, according to FEMA.

There are currently 260 shelters serving at least 34,000 displaced people. Those watching these events unfold from a distance are not powerless to help. You can make a difference by supporting the nonprofit groups in Florida and surrounding areas that are working to provide immediate relief and help local residents and their communities rebuild.

Here is a list of the organizations and how you can donate:

The American Red Cross responds to more than 60,000 disasters each year, noting that 95 percent of its workers are volunteers. The Red Cross was on the ground in Florida—even before the storm made landfall. It is currently supplying clean water, safe shelter, blankets, essential supplies, and hot meals to those affected by the disaster. Provide financial support here. The Red Cross is also taking life-saving blood donations as Ian has disrupted medical care in the region. Schedule an appointment to donate blood here.

Ian Response Fund was launched by a coalition of grassroots organizations to quickly meet the immediate needs of those affected by disasters. This may include providing essential food and supplies, setting up community centers, helping families navigate relief programs, and supporting advocacy campaigns to ensure communities are represented in long-term recovery plans. You can make a donation here.

Save the Children has an emergency response team that is focused on meeting the most urgent needs of children and families living in the hardest hit areas. Save the Children provides these families with essentials, such as water, hygiene kits, diapers, and other life-saving supplies. You can offer your support here.

The Salvation Army is working to provide food, shelter, mental health support, and other emergency services for those affected by Ian. The group is already on the ground in Florida and Georgia and has pledged to assist relief efforts in North Carolina and South Carolina, if needed. The Salvation Army is also providing ongoing aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. There are no administrative fees applied to any Salvation Army disaster gifts, as 100 percent of all donations are applied to the relief operation donors choose to support. You can make a donation here.

World Central Kitchen provides meals to people affected by disasters. The group has sent a team to Sanibel, one of Florida's barrier islands that was cut off from the mainland by Ian. Chef José Andrés and his team plan to prepare 15,000 hot meals and 10,000 cold meals every day as needed. The group is using the Metropolitan Ministries commercial kitchen as their main distribution hub, which is also offering residents bottled water and charging stations. Donations can be made here.

United Way is accepting donations to help residents of west and central Florida get back on their feet. The group is proving immediate essentials for immediate storm relief as well as long-term recovery support. You can offer your gift here.

Rebuilding Together is on the ground in Florida communities, helping residents and business owners repair and rebuild their homes and communities. Those affected receive 100 percent of all donations. You can contribute to this effort here.

Florida Disaster Fund is Florida’s official private fund—a collaboration of both public and private sector organizations established to support communities in the event of emergencies or natural disasters. Donations to the fund go through the nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation. Up to 3 percent of each donation is used to cover indirect costs, bank transaction fees and other administrative expenses. Donate here or to text “disaster” to 20222.

UNICEF responds to hundreds of emergencies and natural disasters around the world each year. In response to Ian, the group is offering humanitarian aid and supplies to those in need, including drinking water, hygiene kits, medication, and food. The group also creates safe spaces for children where they can receive support. Donations may be made here.  

CORE is a nonprofit focused on supporting underserved populations in the areas hardest hit by the disaster. The group provides emergency relief, such as essential medical supplies, and assistance in helping communities to rebuild. You can donate here.

Global Giving is using donations to provide emergency relief, such as food, water, shelter, hygiene products and fuel to those affected by the storm. This group will also remain on the ground, providing long-term support to local communities. Contributions can be made here.

American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of animals. The group’s rescue teams have been deployed in mobile units to respond to animal-related crises in the affected areas amid evacuations and displacements. The group will ensure that pets and other animals are transported to safety, fed, and sheltered. You can donate to this group here.

Article sources open article sources

FEMA. Hurricane Ian. Sep 30, 2022.
Flgov.com. Governor Ron DeSantis: Search and Rescue Efforts Underway Following Hurricane Ian. Sep 29, 2022.
American Red Cross. Disaster Relief. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
The Florida Ian Response Fund. DONATE TO FLORIDA IAN RESPONSE FUND. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
Save the Children. Hurricane Ian. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
Unicef. How UNICEF helps hurricane victims. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
Salvation Army. Support Salvation Army Hurricane Relief. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
World Central Kitchen. WCK serving thousands of hot meals & sandwiches in response to Hurricane Ian. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
United Way. UNITED WAY SUNCOAST DISASTER RECOVERY FUND. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
Rebuilding Together. What Is [Re]Build? Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
The Florida Disaster Fund. About us. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
Global Giving. Hurricane Ian Relief Fund. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.
American Humane. Disaster Preparedness. Accessed Sep 30, 2022.

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