Thousands at Florida evacuation centers to escape Hurricane Ian

Some 13,000 people spent Tuesday night in hundreds of American Red Cross and partner evacuation shelters across Florida to escape Hurricane Ian. Ian hits Florida today as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding to the state.

The National Hurricane Center reports that the entire state of Florida will be affected by this dangerous storm, with parts of the southwest coast experiencing storm surges 12 to 16 feet above the ground. Additionally, parts of Florida could see 18 inches of rain. More than 2 million people are subject to evacuation warnings. Ian is the first major hurricane to hit the Sunshine State since 2018.

Ian could also cause extensive flooding in Georgia and South Carolina later this week, where some areas could see a foot of rain. The Red Cross is working with the authorities and preparing to intervene if necessary.

RED CROSS RESPONSE Today, more than 500 Red Cross-trained rescue workers are on the ground in Florida supporting shelter and relief efforts as Ian makes landfall.

Before the storm, the Red Cross transported trucks full of extra beds, blankets and comfort kits, as well as tens of thousands of relief supplies to the region to prepare to help up to 60,000 people. Emergency response vehicles are also prepositioned throughout the state. We also sent several hundred blood products to Florida ahead of the storm to ensure patients continued to have access to a readily available blood supply.

The Red Cross is working closely with partners and local authorities to ensure that help is available when and where people need it most. Find out how the Red Cross prepared for Ian in this video.

FIND A SHELTER You can find information about Red Cross open shelters at, the free Red Cross emergency app, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767). Download the app by searching for “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to

You can also find shelter on, 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 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.

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.

YOU CAN HELP people affected by Hurricane Ian. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare, respond and help people recover from this disaster. To help those affected by Hurricane Ian, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word IAN to 90999 to donate $10.

The Red Cross appreciates your generous donation to support those affected by Hurricane Ian. The humanitarian efforts of the Red Cross bring comfort and hope to many people in these difficult times. On behalf of those we serve, thank you.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The Red Cross has sent several hundred Type O blood products to Florida to ensure blood remains available for patients in areas expected to be affected by the storm. Learn more here. In unaffected areas, people are encouraged to make and keep appointments to donate blood and platelets.

Although we do not generally serve Florida hospitals, the Red Cross is 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.

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. 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 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; 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.

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