Hurricane Ian has passed through and many people in Tampa Bay woke up Thursday morning to minimal damage, some power outages, and debris. Unfortunately our friends South of us in Sarasota, Fort Myers, and Naples regions can’t say the same. Governor DeSantis and President Biden are urging those who can to volunteer to assist people with Hurricane Ian relief. Here are some quick ways you can help those affected.
Here’s how you can help:
The easiest way to help is through donations. You can donate to the Volunteer Florida Disaster Relief Fund Here. You can text to donate by texting DISASTER to 20222.
Volunteer Florida has posted multiple volunteer actions on their website that you can sign up for. Here are a few places that have volunteer opportunities:
- Red Cross Shelter Volunteer – Virtual
- Red Cross Disaster Volunteer – Sebring
- Hurricane Ian Salvation Army – Fort Myers
- Disaster Mental Health Services – Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Daytona Beach and Winter Haven
- Disaster Action Team Responder – Melbourne
According to The Red Cross, blood has a relatively short shelf life and takes days to test and process, the organization says supplies must be replenished constantly. Appointments to give blood can be made using redcrossblood.org.
Local Tampa Drop Offs
Creative Loafing reported that Tampa Bay volunteers and the Mutual Aid Disaster Relief have organized a relief hub locally. They are helping those here at home in Tampa and planning to deliver help to areas most impacted by the storm. MADR established a relief station at Waters Avenue Church, located at:
609 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
Please drop off any extra hurricane supplies or any extra goods to help those in need locally, and those affected south of Tampa Bay. Relief trips to the Fort Myers area may start as early as this weekend. Here are the essentials that asked to be donated:
- Water and hydration packs
- Non-perishable food
- Hygiene and medical products
- Tarps, chainsaws, generators, power tools
- Portable chargers for electronic devices
- Baby supplies like formula and diapers
Anyone can drop off any donations to the volunteers at the church, they are expected to be there from morning until night. If you arrive and there are no volunteers present, drop off your donation under the Waters Avenue Church overhang near the front door.
Feeding South Florida:
Feeding South Florida – the leading domestic hunger-relief organization in South Florida – is working to ensure those impacted by Hurricane Ian across the State of Florida have clean water and meals ready to eat.
Harry Chapin Food Bank – the largest hunger-relief network in Southwest Florida, serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties – has been flooded and the warehouse cannot be accessed at this time. Due to damage on highways, Feeding South Florida is the only food bank in the state who can access the affected areas via I-75 (Alligator Alley) at this time.
By 4pm on Thursday, Sept. 29, Feeding South Florida will have already delivered its first truck loaded with meals to Island Coast High School in Cape Coral.