Hurricane Ian caused unfathomable devastation. Making landfall in Florida just days after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico and Cuba, the catastrophic storm wreaked havoc in its’ path.

One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the U.S., it caused extreme flooding, severe wind damage, and the loss of life. Many of the communities that were in its wake are unrecognizable. It can be overwhelming to view the photos and videos and think about how people can possibly begin to rebuild their lives, but we can all help. FirstLantic, a healthcare company based in Florida for over 22 years, provides suggestions for making a difference.

Numerous reputable organizations have mobilized to help those suffering from the aftereffects of Hurricane Ian. However, it’s essential to do your research before you give money. Below are some of the groups that could use your assistance:

Caring for Others, an Atlanta-based nonprofit addressing poverty caused by natural disasters, is coordinating its “Caring Convoy” to transport relief supplies to Florida. You can donate here.

American Humane was the country’s first national organization created to protect animals. During Hurricane Ian, their rescue team has been helping with water search and rescue operations and transporting, feeding, and sheltering Florida pets. They are looking for volunteers to assist in the rescue efforts, foster, and potentially adopt.

American Red Cross had volunteers arriving in Florida ahead of the storm and helped to provide shelter to those that evacuated. An estimated 13,000 people spent the night in hundreds of Red Cross shelters across the state. Now, they are involved in the ongoing clean-up efforts. You can donate here.

Direct Relief started sending shipments of medical supplies earlier in the month and set up 12 hurricane modules, essentially “weatherproof” pharmacies-to-go.

Donations to Direct Relief support the purchase of medications, equipment, and supplies that address chronic gaps in health care, specifically in lower-income communities. They are also providing support to facilities in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Carolinas.

Volunteer Florida connects volunteers to communities in Florida that require help after the storm, partnering with authorities, local aid groups, and larger organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. They are asking for volunteers who can provide mental health services and sign up for shifts at temporary shelters.

Operation BBQ provides meals to first responders and those community members directly impacted by the hurricane. They’re looking for both donations and volunteers.

Hispanic Federation is a NYC-based nonprofit working to support local relief efforts, procure emergency supplies and funds, and establish longer-term storm and resiliency rebuilding. You can donate here to support Fiona’s victims in Puerto Rice and the Dominican Republic.

The People’s Forum, a group that supports working-class and marginalized communities, is accepting donations for Cubans affected by Ian to “restore homes and purchase life-saving supplies.”

Additional Resources for those affected by Hurricane Ian:

  • FEMA – Florida homeowners and renters in counties affected by Hurricane Ian may qualify for assistance and can apply here for FEMA disaster relief.
  • EPA – Guidance on beginning the clean-up process after a flood can be found here.
  • The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program’s (DAIP) mission is to provide disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners. Find out more here.
  • USA.gov provides information about how to apply for disaster relief and other tools and resources for those with disabilities, veterans, and businesses.
  • Small Business Administration – President Biden authorized funds to be offered as loans through The Small Business Administration. The types of available disaster loans include:
    • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.
    • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the company, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, nonprofit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture companies, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes meet their financial obligations that cannot be directly satisfied because of the disaster. These loans assist through the recovery period.

If you or a loved one needs home healthcare services, FirstLantic can help. We are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality home care and have serviced clients in Broward and Palm Beach Counties since 2000. Click here to contact us.

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