The impact of Hurricane Ian and how you can help

Cisco Garcia, Staff Writer

On Sept. 28, Florida saw one of the most powerful hurricanes they have ever seen. Hurricane Ian has caused devastating floods and catastrophic damages in Florida.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in the Fort Myers area of Florida. In the prior days to the storm, Hurricane Ian was projected to hit the Tampa Bay area, about 75 miles north of Fort Myers.
The Unites States mainly uses the Global Forecast System to forecast hurricanes. The Global Forecast system projected that Hurricane Ian would hit the Tampa Bay area as a category 2 storm.
Meanwhile, the European system, which uses faster supercomputers, projected that Hurricane Ian would most likely make a more southern and hasher landfall. The European system predicted the hurricane outcome closer than the Global Forecast System, which was primarily used to forecast this event.
The Global Forecast System projected Hurricane Ian to hit the Fort Myers area only 24 hours before landfall, which led to late evacuations. Unfortunately, due to these late evacuations, many decided to stay and ride out the storm. Although most emergency management and meteorologists did primarily use the Global Forecast System to forecast this event, they did constantly emphasize the uncertainty of this storm. As with any hurricane, conditions can change at any moment.
As one of the top five worst hurricanes to hit the United States, Hurricane Ian brought storm surges as high as 18 feet in parts of southwest Florida. This life-threatening storm surge brought catastrophic floods to the region, carrying away buildings, cars and anything in its path. It made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.
Even though it was considered a category 4 hurricane, it was just 7 mph shy of being categorized as a category 5 hurricane. One Florida resident who went outside around the time Hurricane Ian made landfall reported to ABC 11 News, “I literally can’t stand against the wind. Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river. Limbs and trees are down. And the worst is yet to come.”
The storm knocked power out to 2 million residents in Florida. Four days after the storm, power had been restored to 1.3 million residents. As for the places hit the worst by this hurricane, it is possible for power to be out for weeks to months. After Hurricane Ian finally passed Florida, Floridians were able to see the extent of Hurricane Ian’s damage. People found themselves without electricity, clean drinking water and habitable homes.
In a projection released by data firm Enki Research on Oct. 1, the economic damage of this hurricane could reach up to $75 billion. They also estimated that the best-case scenario for this hurricane would be $66 billion. This would put Hurricane Ian among the top 10 costliest storms for the United States.
While the total number of deaths is still unclear due to debris, more than 100 have been found dead and that number is expected to rise. Luckily, more than 1,600 have been rescued.
How you can help…
Even from 1,200 miles away, you can still help. Floridians need all the support they can get, so consider helping out in these ways. Consider donating to these organizations making a difference for the victims in Florida:

Consider adopting an animal rescued from the Florida area. There are currently many animals on their way to Chicago that were rescued from the storm, waiting to be adopted. If you are interested in adopting an animal rescued from Florida, please visit
Check up on friends and family that may be affected. This storm has affected millions in the southeast part of our country, if there is anyone you know affected by this storm, consider trying to reach out to them.
Consider donating blood. People around the country that are in unaffected areas are urged to donate blood by the American Red Cross. To donate blood, visit to make an appointment.