Hurricane Ian Relief Efforts Information

In response to the devastation from Hurricane Ian, JPMA Cares is sharing the below information from Safe Kids Southwest Florida for companies and individuals interested in donating or volunteering.

On the morning of Sept. 28, Hurricane Ian intensified into a Category 4 hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, just shy of a Category 5 storm. Ian came ashore near Cayo Costa, which is in Lee County, Florida, at 3pm with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, tying the record for the fifth-strongest hurricane on record to strike the United States. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Michael in 2018. It was also the first Category 4 hurricane to impact Southwest Florida since Charley in 2004.  The storm moved very slowly at 8 mph.

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  The data also shows storm surge reached well inland in many areas. For example, an estimated nine-foot storm surge meant a foot or two of water spread miles inland in areas. Such high water helps explain in part why so many of the more than 50 deaths reported in Lee County – at least 30 – were attributed to drowning. The storm also knocked out power to more than four million customers in Florida. 

In Lee County alone, 5,014 homes are destroyed, 13,213 have major destruction, 14,074 have minor destruction, and 16,591 are affected. These numbers do not include commercial buildings.  However when you combine commercial and residential property, the total cost for destroyed property is $529M, $3.5B have major destruction, $2M have minor destruction, and $847M are affected.  Lee County is not tracking number of cars that are damaged however according to Cox Automotive estimates, the storm destroyed between 30,000 and 70,000 cars.

Led by Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Safe Kids Southwest Florida works to prevent unintentional childhood injury. Safe Kids Southwest Florida serves Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades Counties area families.  Through education, advocacy, training and hands-on demonstrations, Safe Kids Southwest Florida supports parents, educators, safety professionals, caregivers and the media with evidence-based data and injury prevention strategies on a variety of topics including prevention of pedestrian and bicycle injuries, burns, drowning, motor vehicle injuries and more.

Safe Kids Southwest Florida is seeking donations at this time to help support our community that are dealing with the devastation of Hurricane Ian.  We have many families that have lost their homes and have relocated in with friends, family members, and shelters.  They do not have a safe place for their babies to sleep therefore we are asking for play yards.  We are seeking car seats, as mentioned, many families lost their cars to flooding/storm surge, which included their car seats. We lost between 50 to 100 employee cars in the parking lot alone of Golisano/HealthPark due to flooding.  We have helped over 20 of those staff members with car seats already.  We lost 2 of our outreach vans and a trailer that pulled Safety Sam(Our ATV robot).  Sadly, Safety Sam is destroyed as well.  Many pool cages are gone leaving pools exposed so we are asking for door alarms.  We are also seeking carbon monoxide detectors as even 3 weeks since Hurricane past, many homes are still without power and are using generators.  My CO detector actually went off the day after the storm.  I learned just how important this device is! 

Safe Kids Southwest Florida has checked in with many of our child passenger safety technicians and have already started distributing seats through some of our first responders partners that are technicians.  We could also use some support of any technicians if you have time to spare. 

If anyone is wanting to donate funds as we identify other needs, please donate online at and in the drop down box, please ensure you click “other” and write in “Child Advocacy Department.”  You can also send checks to Lee Health Foundation, Attn: Child Advocacy Department, 9800 S Healthpark Dr. Ste. 405, Fort Myers, FL  33908-3630. 

If you have any questions or wish to coordinate volunteering, please do not hesitate to contact Sally Kreuscher, at 239-289-5789, or Thank you for the consideration and time. 

For more information, contact Meredith Birkhead at

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