SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – It’s been about three weeks since Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida. Hundreds of people are still in shelters and thousands are still needing help getting food, water and other support. Relief organizations, like the Red Cross, are helping people who don’t have homes to return to.
Heidi Ruster, CEO of Utah/Nevada Region of The American Red Cross, was deployed to Southwest Florida from October 1–15. She went back to the Florida Southern Gulf Chapter of the American Red Cross, which is the same chapter she left in July 2013. Ruster helped the local teams, the community, and the very large disaster relief organization to address gaps, needs of local officials, vulnerable communities and areas.
Ruster was not alone if relief efforts, more than 2,400 Red Crossers have supported Florida after Hurricane Ian. With the help of some of the partners of the Red Cross they have provided almost 1.4 Million meals and snacks, and more than 352,700 relief items like cleaning supplies and comfort kits. Some of the trained volunteers are also providing health, mental health and spiritual support to families who have suffered unimaginable loss. This includes help coping with new challenges, managing medical conditions, caring for wounds or injuries, and replacing prescription medications or other critical medical equipment like canes and wheelchairs.
To help people affected by Hurricane Ian, visit the Red Cross website, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word “IAN” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.