As Hurricane Ian heads into the Sunshine State, the American Red Cross is urging Florida residents to listen to local authorities and evacuate immediately if asked to do so.
Now a Category 3 hurricane, Ian could become a Category 4 storm as it begins to affect millions of people in Florida. Tampa could take its first direct hit from a hurricane in more than 100 years. The National Hurricane Center reports that life-threatening storm surge is possible along much of Florida’s west coast, with the highest risk from Fort Myers to the Tampa Bay area. Significant riverine flooding is likely in central Florida.
Parts of Florida could see the effects of the storm as early as today with hurricane-like conditions hitting Florida’s west coast Wednesday through Thursday. Ian could also cause extensive flooding in Georgia and South Carolina later this week.
RED CROSS RESPONSE The Red Cross has moved hundreds of trained volunteers from across the country and tens of thousands of relief supplies to Florida in anticipation of Ian and is opening dozens of shelters to ensure people have a safe place to cross storm. We work closely with our partners and local authorities to ensure that help is available when and where people need it most.
FIND A SHELTER It is essential to listen to the advice of local authorities and evacuate immediately if asked to do so. We encourage safety and being out of harm’s way above all else. Residents quickly run out of time to leave. If you don’t plan to evacuate, have enough food and water for at least three days — it will be difficult for rescuers to come to your aid when the weather deteriorates.
You can find information about Red Cross open shelters on redcross.org, the free Red Cross emergency app, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) . Download the app by searching for “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to redcross.org/apps.
You can also find shelter on floridadisaster.org, follow local officials in your county and city on social media, or monitor local news for where to find emergency shelter.
To help keep everyone safe, everyone in Red Cross emergency shelters must wear a face covering.
We help anyone in need after a disaster, and everyone is welcome in our shelters. All disaster assistance is free and we don’t require people to show ID to enter a shelter – just their name and where they lived before the disaster.
We encourage people planning to stay at a Red Cross shelter to bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items, and important documents. Don’t forget to bring special items for children, such as diapers, formula, and toys, or for family members with special needs.
Our workers will do everything possible to comfortably accommodate service animals and pets. If you are going to a shelter, please bring your own animal cage, supplies, medications, and food whenever possible. Depending on the situation, pets may need to be housed in a different location with the support of animal welfare groups.
If you are heading to an evacuation shelter, bring at least 3 days worth of blankets, pillows, and supplies such as food and water, medicine, infant needs, etc., for all members of your group.
YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters such as storms and countless other crises by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your donation is a commitment to help those in need, and every donation counts.
Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters, big or small. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 today.
For those wishing to help those specifically affected by this hurricane, we ask that they write “Hurricane Ian” in the memo line of a check and send it to their local Red Cross branch along with a donation form. duly completed to the address indicated on the form or to their local branch of the Red Cross. Find the donation form at redcross.org/donate.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The Red Cross is sending hundreds of Type O blood products to Florida to ensure blood remains available for patients in areas expected to be affected by the storm. In unaffected areas, people are encouraged to make and keep appointments to donate blood and platelets.
Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available to patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.
Although the Red Cross does not generally serve Florida hospitals, we are actively working as a member of the AABB Disaster Response Task Force, which has offered assistance to affected blood centers. We are prepared to meet additional blood needs at the request of other blood suppliers or hospitals.
Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood group. Type O negative is the universal blood group and can be transfused to patients of any other blood group. It is regularly in short supply. It is important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stored. With a short shelf life of only 42 days for blood and only five days for platelets, the supply must be replenished constantly.
Please schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets today using the Red Cross Blood Donation app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800 -733-2767).
COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP Generous donations from members of the annual Red Cross Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Response Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters, large and small, to intervene whenever a disaster strikes and to help families through the recovery process.
Million Dollar ADGP Members:
Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Bank of America; Best buy; Caterpillar Foundation; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Wholesale Costco; Delta Airlines; Elevance Health Foundation; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft Corp. ; National Foundation; PayPal; PetSmart charities; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Vision; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
$500,000 ADGP Members:
Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Bread Financial; Calmoseptine, Inc.; Capital 1; CarMax; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental; general dollar; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Company; General Motors; Google.org The Home Depot Foundation; International Paper; The JM Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; Mutual freedom of insurance; Lockheed Martin Company; MasterCard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Organon; PepsiCo Foundation; selling power ; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Stanley Black & Decker; Target; The companies TJX, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and the Wawa Foundation.
ADGP Members $250,000:
7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; The AES company; Ameriprise Financial; Assuring; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; CDW; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; NAC insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; CSX; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Duke Energy; Dutch Bros Foundation; Fair; FirstEnergy Corporation; Gopuff; Port Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; HCA Health; Hewlett Packard Corporate Foundation; HP Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; LHC Group; Major League Baseball; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Martin Marietta; Mattress company; McKesson Foundation; MetLife Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwest Mutual; Former Dominion Freight Line; Pacific Life Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Prudential; Raytheon Technologies; Reckitt; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Project, a New Venture Fund project; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Mission Band of Indians; the Lending Hand Foundation of Security Finance; ServiceNow; South West Airlines; Tata Consulting Services; U-Haul International; American Bank Foundation; and Zurich.