Winds generated by Hurricane Ian neared Category 5 speeds on Wednesday as the catastrophic storm ripped through Florida's gulf coast. On Thursday, President Biden approved a disaster declaration for Florida as a result of the extreme devastation. According to 12News, 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate Florida ahead of the storm as the state prepared for the very worst. As of Wednesday, Governor Brian Kemp declared Georgia to be in a state of emergency with the expectation of harsh weather conditions reaching the state on Friday. Efforts have been put in place throughout the state to help Florida evacuees find refuge.
According to GDOT, all rest areas and welcome centers are now open 24-hours. Any roadwork that blocks traffic is to be halted on major highways so that travelers can get through the state quickly. 12News provided a list of non-profit organizations that are working to help those affected by Hurricane Ian.
One way to help those in need is to donate blood to the Red Cross. Money can also be donated through their website. Those looking for ways to help from afar can also donate to the Florida Disaster Fund, Children's Relief Fund, Project Hope and The Salvation Army.