As Floridians continue to survey the damage and figure out what’s next after Hurricane Ian, there are ways you can help.
“As of Tuesday night we had over 2,000 people staying in Red Cross and partner shelters here in the area,” Lori Arnold, a Red Cross spokesperson currently helping at the Hertz Arena shelter near Fort Myers, Florida, said. “The need is just going to continue.”
She said the Red Cross is focused on shelter, supplying meals, and overall support including mental and spiritual support at the moment.
“As time goes by we’re going to be seeing what else is needed. We do have around 80 response vehicles driving around delivering food to neighborhoods for people who are still at home but maybe don't have power or maybe have some damage but decided to stay home and not come into a shelter.”
Damage will be assessed and Red Cross will help with the next steps in recovery for Floridians as efforts progress. Just how much damage Hurricane Ian caused won't be known for a while.
For now, Arnold said the best way to help is by donating money or your time.
“Financial donations allow us to purchase the items we need exactly when we need them and where we need them,” she explained. “We can also always use volunteers.”
You can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
If you decide to give to other organizations, make sure you know they are legitimate and not a scam.
“Give to an institution that you are already very familiar with,” Arnold said.