Hurricane Ian: how can I help victims?
The Category 4 storm ravaged parts of Florida and the Carolinas, with a major relief effort now required to ensure that residents are supported.
The recovery effort is now beginning in earnest on the east coast of the United States after Hurricane Ian devastated hundreds of miles of coastline and left millions without electricity.
Florida and the Carolinas were worst-hit by the storm, which first came ashore on Wednesday, before returning on Friday. CNN report that at least 64 people are confirmed dead as a result of the hurricane and related destruction, but that number is expected to rise.
More than a million people in multiple states are still without power and the widespread flooding has disrupted critical infrastructure like roads, bridges, hospitals and schools.
Data firm Enki Research has estimated that the total cost of the damage caused is likely to run to at least $65 billion. President Biden has issued emergency declarations in the worst-affected communities to free up FEMA funds and agents, but it will likely take weeks or even months for some areas to become habitable again.
How to donate to the victims of Hurricane Ian
When the storm first came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday, parts of Florida were decimated by 150mph winds and huge storm surges. Torrential rains, flooding and record storm surges were record in Naples and Fort Myers, on the west coast of Florida.
Tragically, although the storm is beginning to subside the dangerous conditions will continue. A forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned: “Major to record river flooding will continue across central Florida through next week.”
The state of Florida set up the Florida Disaster Fund to assist communities with the recovery from disasters and emergencies like this. The fund works with public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations to aid the relief effort.
If you’re in the United States you can donate to the Florida Disaster Fund through the Volunteer Florida Foundation. There are no administrative or credit card fees, so 100% of your donation will be used to aid the recovery.
To make a contribution, head to the Florida Disaster Fund Donation Page.
To support the victims of Hurricane Ian more broadly, a Public Good initiative is working with 11 organizations which focus on different parts of the recovery effort. Charities involved include Airlink, a nonprofit organization providing airlift of supplies and workers to respond to disasters, and World Central Kitchen, which provides nutritional support.
To donate to the cause or share it on social media, head over to Public Good’s Hurricane Ian appeal.