Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Hurricane Ian relief efforts are ongoing and needed

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GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Hurricane Ian which made landfall in late September in southwestern Florida as a strong Category 4 hurricane wreaked havoc on the region and caused billions of dollars in damages, as well as at least 137 deaths.

It’s been noted as the deadliest hurricane to impact Florida since a Labor Day hurricane in 1935. Ian was the ninth named storm, and second major hurricane of the 2022 season. While agencies are still assessing the damage, destruction is definitely in the tens of billions of dollars. Flooding caused major damage to Fort Myers and Naples, millions were left without power, and the causeway connected to Sanibel Island collapsed.

The loss of life makes Ian the deadliest U.S. storm since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


While the assessment of the aftermath of the hurricane will be ongoing for weeks and even months, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is offering her agencies efforts to assist in the recovery of Florida’s agricultural producers.

To stay on top of eligibility for crop insurance and recovery assistance, she urges producers to report losses as soon as possible.

Resource sites are available from state agencies, as well as federally through USDA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

USDA’s Farm Service Agency has a Hurricane Ian recovery resources site available through; and more information from FEMA can be found at

Fried notes that her office and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is regulating charitable organizations in the state for those wishing to make contributions.

“Throughout the state, my office and other emergency services have been working around the clock to protect Floridians and restore safe conditions in our communities,” Fried said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the devastation brought by Hurricane Ian will take months, if not years, to fully overcome.

“Already, President Biden has declared a federal emergency and my office will continue to connect Floridians with federal relief resources. If you have the ability to support recovery efforts, we strongly encourage Floridians to review our list of best practices to avoid scams and sham charities so that your generosity can make the most impact possible for our neighbors in need.”

The Florida Check-A-Charity tool can be reached online at, or by calling 800-HELP-FLA.

Individuals can also make donations to the American Red Cross at

Industry donations

Tyson Foods has noted its support for recovery efforts through the donation of 4 million meals and other relief to storm victims and first responders.

Tyson has partnered with Walmart to donate more than 1 million pounds of protein in the Fort Myers and surrounding area.

“The impact of Hurricane Ian is absolutely devastating and we’re deploying resources where we can make the most impact,” Tim Grailer, Tyson Foods senior director of corporate social responsibility, said. “This response wouldn’t be possible without the support of our disaster relief partners and customers, who are all volunteering time and resources to make sure our response is a successful as possible. Our hearts go out to those who suffered tremendous losses in the wake of Hurricane Ian.”

Tyson Foods is also partnering with Feeding America, Publix, and local foods banks — All Faiths Food Bank, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Feeding Tampa Bay — to provide meals to those in need.

Transportation company, CSX Corp., has announced that it is contributing $200,000 to relief efforts in Florida and South Carolina. Of this total, $150,000 is going to the American Red Cross with the remaining $50,000 going to Florida’s Disaster Relief Fund.

“We are pleased to make this contribution towards recovery efforts and to ensure the delivery of critical resources to our neighbors in these communities where so many of our CSX employees, customers and partners call home,” said Joe Hinrichs, CSX president and CEO.

Also, Food Lion supermarkets, through its Food Lion Feeds initiative, is matching customer donations at its registers, up to $30,000, to go toward hurricane relief efforts.

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