CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Hurricane Ian made land fall two weeks ago, but the storm is not really over for folks in Florida:

That’s Stacy McFarland, Executive Director American Red Cross of the Greater Shenandoah Valley Chapter on Local volunteers on the ground in hard-hit Florida after Hurricane Ian. She said storm surge hit homes especially hard:

Not everyone went to a shelter:

Five local volunteers deployed ahead of the storm to set up shelters, or to deliver food to residents who can’t leave their community:

She said some families cannot even make it out to get basic supplies, either because they lost their vehicles or because the roads have been impassable:

The Chapter covers the greater Eastern Panhandle as well as Washington County MD and south into Virginia. Anyone interested in helping can start the process at

McFarland says the application can be done within a day online.

McFarland says they anticipate being on the ground “for months” in the hard-hit areas The Category 4 Hurricane hit Florida in late September. Local volunteers deploy for two weeks at a time, although they can volunteer to stay longer.

According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Hurricane Ian had maximum sustained winds of 155 miles an hour when it slammed into Florida’s gulf coast September 28th and was just shy of a Category 5 storm. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Michael in 2018 and the first Category 4 hurricane to impact Southwest Florida since Charley in 2004.

Ian thrashed parts of Florida’s western coast, bringing intense winds, heavy rainfall, and catastrophic storm surges. A storm surge with inundation of an unprecedented 12 to 18 feet above ground level was reported along the southwestern Florida coast, and the city of Fort Myers itself was hit particularly hard with a 7.26 foot surge—a record high.

Before the storm, the Red Cross moved truckloads of additional cots, blankets and comfort kits, along with tens of thousands of relief supplies into the Florida area to be prepared to help.