Red Cross Still Supporting Hurricane Ian Victims as New Storm Approaches Florida
November 07, 2022
Hundreds of people in Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian’s devastation remain in shelters as a new storm — Nicole — threatens to bring heavy rain to the state later this week. The American Red Cross is monitoring the situation closely and preparing to respond if necessary.
The National Hurricane Service issued hurricane and storm surge watches today for Florida, reporting Nicole would near the state’s east coast by Wednesday night with tropical storm conditions hitting the area late Tuesday. Nicole could bring as much as six inches of rain and a storm surge as high as five feet above normal to the already saturated region. Heavy rain will then spread across the southeast later this week.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW People in the path of this storm should know the difference before a storm watch and warning. A watch means conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Prepare to act if a warning is issued and stay informed. A warning means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Stay indoors, ideally in a room without windows.
Here are some steps people can take to prepare:
Don’t forget your pets.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency app for real-time alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety advice on hurricanes and other emergencies. Download the app by searching “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to redcross.org/apps.
STORM ANXIETY Thousands of Floridians are still dealing with the effects of Ian as the new storm heads toward some of the same areas impacted by the devastating hurricane. It’s a difficult time for everyone affected and important for people to connect with and support each other. Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next.
Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety. Stay informed but limit media exposure of the events. Spend more time with family and friends, watch for signs of stress, offer your support and listen to one another. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink water and get enough rest.
If you or a loved one needs help, reach out through the Disaster Distress Helpline for free 24/7 support by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TALKWITHUS to 66746.
Children may also react, in part, to what they see from the adults around them. When parents respond calmly and confidently, they can provide better support. Parents should let children talk about their fears while reassuring them about their safety. Talk with them in ways that they can easily understand. Let them guide the
conversation; share details only when they ask about them. Limit exposure to news coverage of the event as children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.
HURRICAN IAN Meanwhile, more than 650 people spent Sunday night in six Red Cross and partner shelters in Florida and thousands more are depending on the Red Cross and other organizations for food, water and other support. Preliminary reports indicate more than 18,200 homes in Florida were either destroyed or suffered major damage during Ian and relief organizations, including the Red Cross, are striving to help people who don’t have homes to return to.
Red Cross workers have already connected with hundreds of families to help them plan for the future and make housing arrangements and are still working with people in shelters. These arrangements will look different for each person. For example, some people may choose to live with friends or family while they rebuild. Others will move into new apartments. And some will be helped through transitional sheltering or other housing programs offered by government agencies and other community organizations. Depending on individual circumstances, this may include financial assistance from the Red Cross.
More than 2,800 trained Red Cross disaster workers from across the country have supported this massive relief response. Since shelters were opened, the Red Cross and our partners have provided more than 48,000 overnight stays for more than 6,800 residents in more than 70 emergency shelters.
With the help of partners, the Red Cross has provided more than 1.6 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 404,000 relief items including comfort kits and other supplies. Red Cross emergency response vehicles are delivering meals daily to people in the hardest hit areas, and disaster aid stations are also open where people can get food, relief supplies and other assistance.
Trained volunteers are providing health, mental health and spiritual support to families who have suffered unimaginable loss. This includes help coping with new challenges, managing medical conditions, caring for wounds or injuries, and replacing prescription medications or other critical medical equipment like canes and wheelchairs.
Ian is a major disaster that is bigger than any one group can manage on its own. The Red Cross will be part of the solution — but not the only solution — to help families recover.
YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
For those interested in helping people specifically affected by the recent storm, we ask that they write “Hurricane Ian” in the memo line of a check and mail it with a completed donation form to the address on the form or to their local Red Cross chapter. Find the donation form at redcross.org/donate.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.