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
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.