As Ian leaves Florida, Tampa Bay group sets up relief hub and gathers supplies for hardest hit areas

The relief hub will serve locals and communities south of Tampa that were hit hardest by Hurricane Ian

click to enlarge As Ian leaves Florida, Tampa Bay group sets up relief hub and gathers supplies for hardest hit areas
Photo by Justin Garcia
Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction across Florida this week. Now, local volunteers have established a relief hub and are planning to deliver help to areas most impacted by the storm.

Ian turned south of Tampa Bay last minute, causing moderate wind and flood damage here—but the storm wreaked havoc on Fort Myers and surrounding areas. On Wednesday, the hurricane hit Southwest Florida as a Category 4 with 155 mph winds, leaving a devastating path of ruin.

Tampa Bay organizers with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADR), a group that has helped people in several disaster scenarios through the years, have now established a relief hub and are also gathering supplies at the same location to bring south to the hardest hit areas.

Today, MADR established a relief station at Waters Avenue Church, located at 609 W Waters Ave. in Tampa.

There, anyone who finds themselves with extra hurricane supplies or extra goods in general can drop off supplies for people in-need locally—and for those most impacted south of Tampa Bay.

Relief trips to the Fort Myers area are expected to begin as early as this weekend.

At the hub, MADR is already providing: clothing, water, some food, hygiene products, and medical supplies to locals.

For the areas south of Tampa items most needed as of now are:
  • Water and hydration packs
  • Non-perishable food
  • Hygiene and medical products
  • Construction equipment such as tarps, chainsaws, generators and power tools and portable chargers for electronic devices
  • Baby supplies like formula and diapers
Volunteers are expected to regularly be at the church for the next several days. If no volunteers are present, donations can be left under the Waters Avenue Church overhang near the front door.

For more info on Mutual Aid Disaster relief and how to help, visit the group's website.

Editor's Note: Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Staff Writer Justin Garcia has volunteered with MADR in disaster scenarios for several years. He does not make any profit from his relief efforts with the group.

About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia previously wrote for the USA Today Network, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Scalawag Magazine, and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 

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