In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the devastation in Florida is becoming more clear by the hour. The scale and extent of Hurricane Ian’s destruction can be seen throughout the area, impacting Paradise Coast cities from Key West to Cedar Key. Naples was one of the locations hit first by the Category 4 hurricane.
Residents are reeling from the huge storm, from loss of property, ruined homes and businesses, and some loss of life. And there are continuing risks from Hurricane Ian, too: flooding, power outages, and storm-related debris strewn and scattered everywhere. In the midst of the damage and devastation, rescue and recovery efforts are underway across Southwest Florida to help people who are still stranded by the storm.
ASSISTANCE IN THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE IAN
According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “federal responders are working alongside nearly 5,000 Florida National Guard members and other state response and emergency managers.” FEMA’s response to Hurricane Ian is a collaboration between itself and other federal agencies. They are attempting to provide disaster assistance via a federal Search and Rescue Coordination Group coordinating efforts with the state of Florida and local partners; and they are offering medical support for hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. FEMA is also making sure meals and water are delivered to those who remain in the area.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP IN COLLIER COUNTY
There are other ways to help in Naples and along the Gulf Coast in the wake of the storm. Victims of Hurricane Ian and those helping on the front lines would benefit from almost anything. To help with recovery efforts in Collier County, consider reaching out to one of the following recommended organizations:
- Collier Community Foundation (239) 649-5000
- United Way (239) 261-7112
- The Salvation Army (239) 775-9447
To help by donating blood, inquire at one of these organizations:
- American Red Cross (800) 733-2767
- Community Blood Center (239) 624-6505
If you are still seeking ways to help Floridians recover from Hurricane Ian, check out Rod Stafford Hagwood’s article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for a listing of organizations with recovery efforts already underway, such as the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, Food for the Poor, Team Rubicon, Publix Super Markets Charities, and Florida International University, among others. You also can find more information on how you can volunteer through credible relief organizations by visiting the official website of Volunteer Florida.
LOCAL RESOURCES FOR SUPPLIES
People in the areas impacted by Hurricane Ian in Southwest Florida will need to know where to get what they need in these first days after the storm. Local news outlets post updates on open gas and grocery stores, and more. The Fort Myers News-Press, for instance, currently has a running list online of where people can go to get supplies in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Bonita Springs, Marco Island, and Naples.
The Naples Art District is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that boasts the largest concentration of working artists in Southwest Florida. The District gives professional artists a place to share their talents, which range across a wide variety of mediums and methods. The mission of the organization is to provide the local community and visitors with a unique visual and cultural destination that promotes the arts and art education for all ages. To learn more, contact the Naples Art District.