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Crisis Alert: Americares Responds to Deadly Earthquakes in Turkey & Syria

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Hurricane Ian

Active Emergency Photo courtesy of Getty / Joe Raedle
September 28, 2022
Help people in need of health care in times of crisis.
Several boats severely damaged at Fort Myers, Florida waterfront with the Sea Anna boat in the foreground.oats piled in

Path of Destruction

Hurricane Ian made landfall just south of Tampa, Fla., hitting the southwest coast at the island of Cayo Costa near Fort Myers and Cape Coral on Wednesday, September 28 as a terrifying Category 4 hurricane with a deadly storm surge.

Beginning an unimaginable assault on vulnerable coastal communities, Hurricane Ian made landfall just south of Tampa, Florida, hitting the southwest coast at the island of Cayo Costa near Fort Myers and Cape Coral on Wednesday, September 28 as a terrifying Category 4 Atlantic hurricane with a deadly storm surge. 

The storm was deemed the worst Atlantic hurricane on record since 1935, which left a devastating trail of destruction in its wake and almost completely demolished entire communities, including Fort Myers Beach. According to meteorologists, the storm’s sheer size far exceeded previous major storms to hit the area. Coastal storm surge was reported to be as high as 15 feet in the hardest hit areas where many of the homes were less than 1 foot above sea level. To date, it is one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States.

Page updated 3.21.23

Photo: Boats and piers are destroyed following Hurricane Ian near downtown Fort Myers, September 30, 2022. (Photo/Mark Taylor)

Watch the video from one of our partners in the region by clicking on the arrow.

Responding to Ian

Americares immediately launched a response and contacted more than 200 partner organizations across Florida, Georgia and Alabama in advance of the storm to offer assistance. This includes nearly 150 local partners in Florida, which the organization supports on an ongoing basis.

Shortly after the hurricane made landfall, Americares deployed an emergency response team to Florida to assess health needs and coordinate deliveries of critically needed medicines, relief supplies, hygiene kits, tetanus vaccines, bottled water and help health clinics continue operating for survivors. Americares also had a team of disaster mental health specialists on the ground in Punta Gorda, Fla., that provided mental health support to health workers who were survivors themselves to ensure they could continue their lifesaving work.

In the 6 months since the storm, Americares has delivered over $880,000 in aid to 15 partner organizations supporting survivors. This includes:

  • More than $546,000 in emergency funding to help health clinics and nonprofit organizations repair storm damage, fuel generators, replace damaged medical equipment and defray the cost of staffing to meet increased demand for services;
  • Nearly 8 tons of critically needed medicines, relief supplies, hygiene kits and tetanus vaccines to treat survivors;
  • and enough medicine to fill more than 1,100 prescriptions.

Our Team

Americares response to Hurricane Ian is focused on supporting those who have the least resources to recover from a major hurricane. Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, was severely impacted by the hurricane and has a moderate to high percentage of residents on the CDC’s social vulnerability index. At the same time, about 10 percent of Charlotte and Lee County residents are living in poverty, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.

Americares is supporting the following 15 health partners in Florida who are focused on ensuring low-income, uninsured and underinsured storm survivors have access to essential health services:

  • Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Inc. in Cape Coral, Fla.
  • Presbyterian Counseling Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Englewood Community Care Clinic in Englewood, Fla.
  • Midwest Food Bank in Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Premier Mobile Health Services in Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Talbot House Ministries of Lakeland, Inc. in Lakeland, Fla
  • Dade County Street Response in Miami, Fla.
  • Suncoast Neighborhood Task Force Inc. in North Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Plea Global Resource Sharing in Orlando, Fla.
  • Specialized Treatment Education and Prevention Services Inc. in Orlando, Fla.
  • Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic in Port Charlotte, Fla.
  • Charlotte Behavioral Health Care in Punta Gorda, Fla.
  • CenterPlace Health in Sarasota, Fla.
  • Samaritans Touch Care Center Inc. in Sebring, Fla.
  • The Salvation Army in Tampa, Fla.

Americares is helping the partners to:

  • Make urgent facility and roof repairs
  • Hire extra medical staff to meet the surge in demand from patients
  • Replace damaged medical equipment
  • Purchase fuel and propane for generators
  • Provide basic medical care
  • Distribute medicines
  • Provide food, clothing and hygiene items to people who lost their homes
  • Provide gas cards to clinic staff so they can get to work

New Partner Clinics

Americares staff member with mobile clinic director in front of the mobile clinic in Fort Myers.
Americares team members meet with Nadine ‘Deanie’ Singh, the Executive Director of Premier Mobile Health Services, in Fort Myers, Florida to begin a new partnership. October 3, 2022. (Photo/Tija Danzig)

Deanie Singh was once an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica who grew up without access to healthcare. She dedicated her life to helping other people so they wouldn’t have to experience what she went through and is now a registered and board-certified nurse practitioner and the founder of Premier Mobile Health Services. Deanie submitted a proposal to help with surge staffing. This partnership will allow them to pay staff while her existing staff are dealing with their own personal losses so they can maintain full service at both of their mobile clinics and the walk-in clinic. Read more about Deanie in an Ian blog post.

Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic in Port Charlotte, Fla. is another partner working with Americares as they recover from Hurricane Ian.

Our History

Americares has a long history of responding to emergencies in Florida and the Gulf Coast. The organization has been on the frontlines of recovery efforts following major hurricanes in the area in recent years, including Hurricanes Irma, Dorian and Michael. After Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm that devastated the Florida Panhandle in 2018, Americares delivered 61 shipments of medicines, medical supplies, hygiene products and other relief items and operated a temporary medical clinic in Panama City, Fla., that provided primary care services for more than 800 survivors.

Americares responds to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters. Americares relief workers are among the first to respond to emergencies, helping to restore health services for survivors.