Hurricane Ian was one of the most destructive storms to strike the United States in the last century. In the face of billions of dollars in damages to homes, property, and delicate natural habitats, FWC deployed over 100 officers to aid in community rescue efforts throughout southwest Florida. With their unique training, experience, and equipment, FWC officers are often the first to respond to affected areas. Massive flooding along the Peace and Myakka Rivers required the use of FWC staff and airboats to ensure safe passage for those Florida residents who remained trapped after the storm, as well as search-and-rescue efforts for those unaccounted for.
However, FWC staff were not immune to Hurricane Ian, with many facing homelessness and property damage. Thanks to your donations, we are proud to support the FWC officers, biologists, and other staff who were impacted by Hurricane Ian. Through the use of our FWC Employee Assistance Fund, we have given away $102,450 to 35 FWC employees and $50,600 to 36 FWC Law Enforcement officers to aid in relocation assistance, loss of personal property, and home repair.
Andrew Garrett, an FWC Marine Mammal Biologist, had a tree fall on his family’s home during the storm. The Foundation provided help with the expensive removal process.
“The financial assistance we received from the FWC Employee Assistance fund will definitely take some of the sting out of that unplanned expense,” said Garrett, whose staff was deployed to Port Charlotte to help after the hurricane.
In addition to the direct assistance to individuals, our Foundation also purchased $25,122 in supplies for first responders including food, generators, and gas to provide meals to those working tirelessly on the scene.
“Working in the aftermath of a major storm can be extremely challenging and takes a toll on our first responders. The Foundation played a key role in supporting this mission by generously purchasing food and supplies for those deployed,” said Major Jay Russel, FWC Northeast Regional Commander. “By providing consistent hot meals to our members, morale was higher than I have ever witnessed at a disaster response. This resulted in an incredible amount of work getting done for the communities that needed it the most.”
As Tropical Storm Nicole spins toward Florida’s east coast, we’re prepared to respond to future needs. To support those who work to protect wild Florida and its residents, donate to our FWC Employee Assistance Fund today.