Communities Impacted by Hurricanes Ian, Fiona Are Seeing Help Come In, But It's Only the Beginning in Rebuilding


It was recently announced Walgreens is giving $500,000 each to Florida Disaster Fund and American Red Cross Hurricane Fund to support relief efforts.

$1 million in donations was announced Monday by Walgreens to support storm relief efforts in communities across Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Fiona. The donations include $500,000 each to the Florida Disaster Fund and the American Red Cross Hurricane Fund.

The American Red Cross donation goes to help all impacted communities in the aftermath of hurricanes, and will include aid to impacted regions across Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall two weeks ago.

Walgreens is also continuing to work with both organizations as well as community partners to donate products and essentials such as bottled water, consumables and health and hygiene items.

In addition, they are offering further services for customers, patients and employees. For example, the company has been working to deploy mobile pharmacy trailers to help serve customers. Support services are also available to Walgreens team members who may be displaced or in need of additional support.

In the coming days, Walgreens customers will be able to make donations at checkout at any Walgreens store nationwide.

Furthermore, support toward the Florida Disaster Fund and the American Red Cross Hurricane Fund will contribute to rebuilding these affected communities that are continuing to struggle today with recovery efforts and, in some cases, getting their basic needs after each hurricane.

In Florida, there are currently 42,000 linemen responding to the more than 840,000 reported power outages in whatever buildings and neighborhoods still standing. They have already restored power to more than 1.8 million accounts across the state, according to the office of Florida Govenor, Ron DeSantis.

As of today, the death toll has risen to over 90, according to a recent interview done by PBS news hour.

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised over $21 million in the first 48 hours of activation. This fund distributes funds to service organizations that will serve individuals within their communities with disaster response and recovery.

As for Puerto Rico's current status, the island received a visit from President Joe Biden Monday in the afternoon, surveying damage in the southern part of the island blasted by the Category 1 storm Fiona. It touched down on September 18 and killed at least two people and is estimated to have caused $3 billion in damages, shared William Brangham of PBS in a previous interview.

Power has been restored to about 90% of the island, but over 60,000 people still remain without water.

The White House annouced $60 million in U.S. aid, overall, which an amount will go towards strengthening flood walls and creating a new warning system to ensure the island is better prepared for future storms.

Mark Friedlander, the director of communications at the Insurance Information Institute told Fox Weather he recommends all Americans include flood insurance in their financial protection package, as 90% of U.S. disasters involve flooding.

According to Friedlander, only 13-15% of Florida homeowners, in particular, have flood insurance. In areas of metro Orlando, the number drops to below 5%.

He also advised Americans to have annual insurance check-ups to review their coverage with their insurance agent to make sure they have the coverage they need.

NBC2 News reported an Insurance Village is being established in Florida to assist consumers with insurance claims and other needs. 

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