On September 28, 2023, Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm with 150-mph winds on Cayo Costa, Florida. After devastating Florida, Hurricane Ian moved on and made landfall again in Georgetown, South Carolina.
Now, more than 10 days after Hurricane Ian hit, Americans are still picking up the pieces.
Hurricane Ian has been declared the fifth-strongest hurricane to make landfall in the United States and the third-deadliest storm to hit the United States.
As of press time, some communities in Florida (Cape Coral and North Fort Myers) are still without power or clean water. In some areas, residents are just now allowed to return home.
However, according to local authorities, “Many of the homes still standing on Estero Island lack basic services, so portable restrooms, hand-washing stations, shower trailers and other essentials were trucked in for residents who want to stay.”
Governor Ron DeSantis has made it clear: “There's a lot more to do, and really some of the hardest stuff is still ahead of us.”
What Made Hurricane Ian So Destructive
Every year, coastal areas of the United States are hit by hurricanes. In the past six hurricane seasons, six major hurricanes have made landfall in the United States.
Despite this, many people are not prepared for hurricanes or the flooding that occurs as a result. People tend to focus solely on the day a hurricane makes landfall, but truly, most of the hard work is in the days following.
Hurricane Ian, for example, brought the entire electrical grid down in some areas of Florida.
At one point, a quarter of Florida’s power was out. News outlets reported, “Around 2.7 million customers were in the dark at peak outage in Florida. That adds up to about 25 percent of the state, markedly higher than for Category 5 Hurricane Michael, which left 4 percent of the state without power in 2018.” Keep in mind that Hurricane Ian did not stop in Florida. In its wake, 350,000 people in North Carolina, 218,000 people in South Carolina, and 15,000 people in Georgia were without power.
But Hurricane Ian proved significantly worse than previous storms because of the combination of high winds, 21+ inches of rain, and a 12-foot storm surge.
It Takes All of Us to Rebuild after Such a Devastating Storm
When a natural disaster like Hurricane Ian hits, local, state, and federal employees are completely overwhelmed. There are simply not enough people on their payroll to help everyone in need.
Consider this example posted in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian by a Florida resident:
“We do not have any help in St. James City, there are so many people here that have completely lost everything like elsewhere,” Denise Martinez posted on a Facebook group called The Pine Island Prospect. “As of this morning, nobody has brought in supplies besides the people trying to get to the island themselves to check on loved ones or if they still have a home. All of the people on the island need food, water, gas, propane, they do not even have a roll of toilet paper. Something needs to be done today or more people will die. It is a complete war zone down here.”
These American citizens need help beyond FEMA. If all those in need waited for FEMA to render aid, then even more lives would be lost.
When the Government Is Overwhelmed, These Teams Rush In
We are happy to have donated $1,000,000 of our proceeds to Hurricane Ian relief efforts to help families recover through Mercury One, Team Rubicon, and Operation BBQ Relief.
- Morrow shared this with us: “These orgs (and y'all) are making a difference here. Real people, real suffering, real help. Thank you! We are over a week into this thing and the government assets are still in SAR mode. The temporary bridges are being deployed to facilitate RESCUE operations now, recovery ops later. Helicopters and boats are slow and have limited air and sealift capacity to carry supplies and perform evacuations. Ground vehicle access is a game-changer. From what I have seen and heard, there are still THOUSANDS of victims sitting on their rubble piles and/or camping out in uninhabitable homes with no running water, no ice, no electricity, very little fuel, etc. In terms of damage, death, and recovery combined, Ian may be the worst hurricane ever to hit FL; and I thought Andrew was "the big one."
On the ground after a natural disaster like this, Operation BBQ cooks and distributes thousands of lunches and dinners each day to hurricane/flooding victims and first responders.
According to Tallahassee news, “Operation BBQ Relief moved a station into Port Charlotte with 90,000 square feet of base camps, kitchens, dry tents, refrigerated trailers and 50 volunteers on site," said Danna Reed, the group’s head of government relations. "The group has the capacity to distribute 50,000 hot meals a day. Workers distributed 27,000 meals since Friday, and, on Tuesday, distributed 25,000 meals.”
Team Rubicon is a nonprofit composed of military veterans who have the skills and experience to deploy in emergency response teams. They are “clearing out storm debris, mucking out homes, tarping roofs, removing downed trees, and helping communities recover from the destruction of Hurricane Ian.”
Donations were also contributed to Mercury One. Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity that was founded in 2011 by media personality, entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author Glenn Beck. It was created to inspire the world in the same way the United States’ space program shaped America’s national destiny by setting a goal and committing to reach it against all odds.
Together, we’re stronger than any hurricane.
Thank you for your support. It's your preparations for this and all future emergencies that made such a generous donation possible.
The 3-Day Supply Myth
If you live in a community affected by a natural disaster like Hurricane Ian, you see why a 3-day emergency supply is not enough.
Again, many communities are still without power and clean water more than a week after Hurricane Ian. In addition to uninhabitable homes, communities without power can’t operate grocery stores, which means there is a lack of food, too.
A 3-month emergency food supply may seem like overkill to some, but the stories we hear from survivors of natural disasters about how difficult FEMA is to navigate and how long it takes for help to arrive is enough to make you reconsider.
Even if a crisis only lasts a week, what if your neighbors’ houses flood? Will you turn them away, or will you have enough emergency survival food to offer those in need?
Those living in Hurricane Ian-ravaged areas are quickly discovering the need for clean water. They can’t shower, cook, or clean. That’s why we always recommend having a water filtration device in your home.
Anything is better and more realistic than a 3-day supply. Hurricane Ian is just the latest natural disaster to demonstrate why it is always better to sufficiently prepare.
Thank you for making it possible to help those without power, food, and water, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply