JACKSONVILLE, Florida — First Coast News continues to track the numbers of those impacted by Hurricane Ian's catastrophic damage. We know it is a challenging time, and we have partnered with the American Red Cross to bring you a safe donation link to help. Our Northeast Florida Regional Red Cross has active and they are working around the clock to offer support and comfort to people in need. Please consider donating what you are able to people affected by Hurricane Ian by CLICKING HERE
“We know that people are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster,” says Christian Smith, CEO, American Red Cross of North Florida. “Our first priority is to provide shelter and support to those affected.”
The Red Cross said as of Wednesday night, more than 33,000 people sought refuge in approximately 260 evacuation shelters across Florida to escape Hurricane Ian. They added, the number of people seeking shelter could increase in the coming days as power outages continue and people leave homes that are too damaged to stay in.
Smith said as conditions slowly improve over the coming days, response efforts will expand as evacuation centers transition to emergency shelters with more robust services. Learn more about how the Red Cross prepared for Ian in this video.
Our local Red Cross chapter said it will be days before the full scope of the damage that Ian left behind is revealed, and they add, the danger isn’t over. As the storm heads north, the Red Cross will be working with partners and local officials in several states to be ready to help where needed.
Some 730 trained Red Cross disaster workers are supporting this relief effort and hundreds more are on the way. Smith said before the storm, the Red Cross mobilized 83 truckloads of additional cots, blankets and comfort kits, along with tens of thousands of relief supplies, to be prepared to help as many as 60,000 people. She added, emergency response vehicles are also pre-positioned across the state.