On Thursday, Hurricane Ian made landfall as one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S. — a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 150 mph, just shy of the 157 mph winds needed to qualify as a Category 5 storm. The monster storm blew through Florida, leaving record flooding, destroying beachfront towns, killing at least 19 people (a number that is expected to grow), and leaving two million without power before heading back out to sea and then setting its sights on the South Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm.
Governor Ron DeSantis said rescue efforts have been deployed, but entering high-risk areas may take time. “Some have called in, and those people are being logged, and there will be a response. But it’s likely going to take a little time for this storm to move forward so that it’s safe for the first responders to be able to do.”
Hurricane Ian came just days after Hurricane Fiona rolled through the Caribbean, bringing with it the largest amount of rainfall experienced in 123 years, leaving almost the entire island of Puerto Rico without power.
In other words, people need help. For those who don’t live anywhere near the two areas, and even for those who do, we compiled this list of eight ways you can help the victims of Ian and Fiona — especially as Ian continues its move through the U.S.
How To Help Hurricane Ian Victims In Florida
Donate Funds To The Florida Disaster Fund: For those who are short on time, donating to the Florida Disaster Fund — the state’s “official private fund,” per CNN, that helps Floridian communities during emergencies or disaster — is as easy as sending a text. You can text “disaster” to 20222 or visit their website here to donate.
Donate Funds To Direct Relief: Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization that operates globally “to expand access to medicine and healthcare by equipping doctors and nurses with lifesaving medical resources,” per their website. For those who suffer health issues, this will be critically important in the wake of Ian, a hurricane that surely destroyed plenty of health infrastructure in the state. You can donate here. In the drop down menu, you can choose to donate specifically to victims of Hurricane Ian.
Donate Blood Or Funds To American Red Cross: Everyone knows the American Red Cross, an organization that provides direct aid through blood donation and shelters, among other actions. American Red Cross has volunteers on the ground in Florida and in other regions soon to be hit by Hurricane Ian, but they are urging “eligible individuals in unaffected areas to give blood and help ensure patients in impacted areas continue to have access to lifesaving blood.” If you can donate blood, consider it and visit their website for more information. If not, a monetary donation will also go far. You can donate here.
Donate Funds Or Supplies To Disaster Relief At Work: Disaster Relief At Work is “an ever-expanding organization…dedicated to providing relief to communities around the U.S. that have been hit by natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.” The organization is already on the ground in Florida and is accepting donations of cash (which you can do here) or specific supplies that you can “purchase,” such as the “family bathroom bucket,” the “cleaning bucket,” and the “sleep bucket,” full of specific items that people may need. You can donate goods or money here.
How To Help Hurricane Fiona Victims In Puerto Rico
Victims of Hurricane Fiona — specifically in Puerto Rico — are still without power and water. They need help even though the storm has gone.
Donate Funds To Hispanic Federation: Hispanic Federation is an NYC-based nonprofit that is working to support local relief efforts, procure emergency supplies and funds, establish longer-term storm resiliency rebuilding, and “help get families and children across the island.” You can donate here to support Fiona victims in Puerto Rice and the Dominican Republic.
Donate Funds To Direct Relief: Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization that operates globally “to expand access to medicine and healthcare by equipping doctors and nurses with lifesaving medical resources,” per their website. For those who suffer health issues, this will be critically important in the wake of Fiona, a hurricane that surely destroyed plenty of health infrastructure, power, and access to water in Puerto Rico. You can donate here. In the drop down menu, you can choose to specifically donate to victims of Fiona.
Donate Funds To ConPRmetidos: ConPRmetidos is based in Puerto Rico and is taking funds to help the island recover in the midst of Fiona, so they can “activate an immediate relief and recovery plan,” per their site. The money will allow organizers to give grants to community organizations, set up portable energy charging stations and water purification systems, distribute food to people, and more. You can donate here.
Donate Funds Or Goods To Taller Salud: Taller Salud is a “community based feminist organization” based in Puerto Rico that is collecting not just funds but also water filters, toiletries, and more for those who live there and are in need of basic necessities. You can donate on their website or through their PayPal.
It’s important to note that there are victims of Ian and Fiona well beyond Puerto Rico and Florida — Rolling Stone, for example, drew up a list of Cuban and Dominican Republic organizations to help people there, if you want to provide assistance internationally.