Here’s How to Help Florida’s Recovery Efforts in the Wake of Hurricane Ian

a man stands in the wake of hurricane damage in FL

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Where — and what — to donate.

On September 28, Hurricane Ian made landfall as a category 4 storm — and as one of the most dangerous storms to strike the peninsula on the southwest coast of Florida. The storm made landfall at Fort Myers, a bucolic beach city named the second best place in the country to retire in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 rankings.

Since Ian battered the coast and carved a path of destruction across the state at 150 mph, 2.5 million residents are without power. In Lee County, parts of at least two bridges were destroyed. Some areas were hit by a storm surge up to 18 feet while other regions experienced three months’ worth of rain in a 48-hour period. In the central part of the state, first responders are currently performing rescues in waist-high water. As storm clouds clear, the alarming effects of the damage will appear.

Governor Ron DeSantis called the destruction “historic” and said rebuilding might take years, since so many homes, businesses, and structures have been destroyed.

Though new details will continue to emerge, you can get a jump start on helping out. Here are five ways to provide support as the Sunshine State recovers.

A tree fell on the road due to winds from Hurricane Ian on September 29, 2022 in downtown Punta Gorda, Florida. (Photo by Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Where to Donate to Help Florida After Hurricane Ian

The Florida Disaster Fund
To help aid response and recovery activities, donate to the Florida Disaster Fund. This organization is “the official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster.” You can donate online and easily specify that you’re sending money to help support the state after Ian.

Convoy of Hope
This nonprofit provides relief to communities that have been affected by natural disasters. They are planning to set up points of distribution and will begin assisting survivors. They’re bringing supplies like pre-bagged groceries. You can donate online.

Collier Comes Together
This Naples-based community foundation has reactivated a hurricane fund “to benefit Southwest Florida nonprofit relief efforts and programs.” This foundation is local to the coastal damage, so it’s a great choice if you feel more comfortable giving to smaller organizations. You can donate online.

Volunteer Florida
If you’re a Floridian who wants to help, consider donating your time. There are volunteer positions available for hurricane relief. You can help clean up debris, distribute food, or assist with mental health services.

Red Cross Blood Services
The Red Cross has asked for blood donations “to prevent potential disruptions to patient care” in the wake of Ian. Make an appointment to donate via their website or app.