UPDATE (9/29 at 4:15 p.m. EDT): The IAFF is assisting members and families impacted by Hurricane Ian, as well as working with affiliate leaders whose members are in the storm’s current path.
We have established disaster relief operations in Bonita Springs and Tampa, with IAFF staff on-site to help members. A separate email has been sent to potentially affected members with a dedicated phone number they can contact for assistance, including supplies, behavioral health support, access to work crews, and financial assistance for catastrophic damage to homes.
Members in a position to provide financial assistance can contribute directly to our Disaster Relief fund by donating to the IAFF Foundation.
UPDATE (9/27 at 5:15 p.m. EDT): The National Weather Service (NWS) is expecting Hurricane Ian to impact Florida with multiple hazards this week. Ian is currently tracking over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico before beginning to approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday.
The NWS is predicting life-threatening storm surges along much of Florida’s west coast, hurricane and tropical storm-force winds, heavy rainfall, flash and urban flooding, and tornadoes.
According to the IAFF’s Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis and mapping, nearly 6,400 IAFF members live in the hurricane and surge warning zone. Another 12,000 members live in the hurricane watch area. More information from the National Weather Service is available here.
The IAFF is establishing disaster relief operations in Tampa, with staff on-site to help members. The IAFF’s Go Team, which assists with home repairs and financial support, can be reached at (321) 430-IAFF/4233.
“Our IAFF members will no doubt be called upon to protect their communities as Hurricane Ian impacts Florida,” said General President Edward Kelly. “That’s what we do as fire fighters. And, while our brothers and sisters are answering those calls, the IAFF will be there at the ready to support them and their families in any way necessary.”
In anticipation of the storm, members and the public are advised to:
- Review the IAFF’s Disaster Preparedness Guide
- Build an emergency kit or a “go bag” and make a family communications plan
- Have enough food and water for three days
- Make arrangements for your pets if needed. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes. Remember, if it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for your pets either.
- Secure your house (bring in anything that might get blown away, etc.)
- Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times
- Learn community evacuation routes in case you are told to leave
Learn more about preparing for hurricanes.
The IAFF is initiating disaster relief operations and prepositioning post-storm response resources as Hurricane Ian grows in intensity and heads toward the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.
The National Weather Service is predicting heavy rainfall, high winds, and flash flooding resulting from Ian. Wind speeds could grow to 111 miles per hour or greater in some areas, and life-threatening storm surges of up to 10 feet are predicted along the west coast of Florida and the panhandle. There is a risk of significant flooding.
The mix of high winds and rain could result in power outages to more than 2 million people in Tampa and the surrounding counties.
The IAFF and the Florida Professional Fire Fighters have several supply trailers in Florida ready to support members who live and serve in impacted areas. The International is evaluating and will decide on the location of a disaster recovery operations center in the coming days. Our partners at Heart 9/11 also stand ready to assist our efforts.
The IAFF will post updates as they become available.