Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Daily Wire News.
Florida first lady Casey DeSantis announced Thursday evening that within just a few hours of activating the Florida Disaster Fund that more than $10 million has been raised to support communities impacted by Hurricane Ian.
The hurricane, which slammed into the state Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful Category 4 hurricanes to ever hit the state, caused catastrophic damage from the storm surge that it brought, leaving millions without power and billions of dollars in damage.
"We are very appreciative and thankful for the outpouring of support. Raising more than $10 million dollars in one day to The Florida Disaster Fund demonstrates the kindness and compassion from people across this state and nation,"
Casey DeSantis said at a press conference. "These private sector contributions will be deployed quickly and effectively to meet the immediate needs of those most impacted by the storm. We cannot thank people enough for their generosity."
CEO of Volunteer Florida Josie Tamayo praised Casey DeSantis for her leadership and thanked everyone who has given so far.
The governor's office explained:
The Florida Disaster Fund and Volunteer Florida are working with the Department of Children and Families and Sunshine Health through the First Lady's Hope Florida Initiative to open Family Resource Support Centers with one-on-one support for impacted families, including Hope Navigators and counseling resources on site for those who are struggling and need help.
Major donations from companies across the state so far included Walmart ($1,500,000), Amazon ($1,000,000), Centene Charitable Foundation ($1,000,000), Ian MacKechnie ($1,000,000), Florida Blue ($1,000,000), Lennar ($1,000,000), Boeing ($750,000), Publix ($500,000), TECO ($500,000), Simply Healthcare ($350,000), AirBnb ($250,000), Wells Fargo ($250,000), Verizon ($125,000), CVS ($100,000), Duke Energy ($100,000), Goldman Sachs ($100,000), Rumble ($100,000), Florida Power and Light ($50,000), National Christian Foundation ($50,000), PGA Tour ($25,000), and Horne ($25,000).
"The DeSantis Administration has laid the groundwork for our partnership with private-sector businesses to help deliver assistance to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, and I am grateful to First Lady Casey DeSantis for spearheading this initiative,"
said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle.
The governor's office also released a list of major businesses that are stepping up to help Floridians impacted by the disaster, including:
- Publix Supermarkets - Publix has delivered more than 700 truckloads of water equal to almost a million cases, delivered more than 3 million pounds of ice, and is storing double inventory volumes. Prior to closing stores impacted by the storm, Publix donated perishable products to local police, firefighters, and emergency response teams, and also ensured that associates that work nearby and prepare these stores for the storm received donated product for themselves and their families. Publix associates have diligently taken care of their customers, communities, and each other.
- Walmart - Walmart has activated Disaster Displacement Assistance for impacted associates to assist them in evacuating to safety. Walmart Transportation has positioned 400 drivers in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to support recovery efforts. Walmart and Sam's Club have pushed more than $23 million in additional water and disaster related merchandise ahead of the storm, including over 660 truckloads of additional water and disaster related merchandise ahead of the storm. A public-facing map showing store and club closures that updates in real-time has been published at Hurricane Ian Facility Status (walmart.com).
- Lowe's Home Improvement - Lowe's continues to have stores open in counties not directly impacted by Hurricane Ian to receive storm and recovery-related products, such as generators, water, gas cans, sand, plywood, batteries, flashlights, and other materials. Additionally, 30 fuel trucks are staged at Lowe's store locations for re-entry after the storm. Lowe's is leveraging its vast supply chain network to bring much needed response product into the state.
- Uber Technology - Private-sector partner, Uber, is offering round-trip rides to and from Southwest Florida shelter locations in Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Volusia, and Osceola counties listed at www.FloridaDisaster.org/PlanPrepare/Shelters. Riders can enter promotional code IANRELIEF in the app to redeem a free round-trip up to $30 each way. Rides must be requested to or from any state-approved evacuation shelter in Florida.
- U-Haul International, Inc. - As families evacuate, U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage and U-Box container usage at 43 Florida locations. Find additional information at www.uhaul.com/about/ listed under "Top Stories."
- Expedia - VISIT Florida has activated the Emergency Accommodations Portal at Expedia.com/Florida with the latest available hotel listings. Expedia reached out encouraging their partners to waive cancellation fees and to waive pet restrictions.
- Xfinity - Comcast has opened Xfinity WiFi hotspots in Central, North and Southwest Florida, and the Panhandle for Xfinity customers and non-customers to stay connected during and after the storm. Details are available at Florida.Comcast.com/2022/09/27/comcast-opens-free-xfinity-wifi-hotspot-network-as-hurricane-ian-approaches/.
- Rosen Hotels & Resorts - Rosen Hotels and Resorts is activating their Florida Residents Distressed Rates to give Floridians a safe, affordable place to ride out Hurricane Ian. Evacuees can call 866-33-ROSEN (76736) to reserve a room.
- AT&T - AT&T is waiving talk, text, and data overage charges for AT&T Postpaid & PREPAID customers with billing addresses in 828 zip codes across Florida from September 28, 2022, through October 28, 2022, to keep customers connected during and after the storm event.
- Target - Target is working quickly to ensure its team members are safe and is mobilizing its supply chain to fast-track critical supplies to Target stores. Target is also working with its team members, guests, and regional partners in the coming days to help ensure that all communities impacted by Hurricane Ian have the resources they need to support recovery and rebuilding.
- Charter Communications - Charter Communications has opened Spectrum Out-of-Home WiFi access points in response to Hurricane Ian. Spectrum WiFi access points are typically found in public parks, marinas, city streets and other public areas. A map of access points is available at spectrum.com/internet/wifi-access-points.
- Anheuser-Busch - Anheuser-Busch has coordinated seven trucks - more than 360,000 cans - of emergency drinking water in response to Hurricane Ian.