Yuma local helping Florida recover after Hurricane Ian

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – One Yuma local with the American Red Cross is now in Florida helping with recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian slammed the state, leaving a massive path of destruction behind.

The cleanup and rebuilding continue in Florida as today marks one week after the category four hurricane made landfall.

Tom Batson of Yuma works is a disaster program specialist for the Red Cross.

He’s stationed in Orlando, helping those who are staying in their shelters after losing everything.

“We’re literally running, you know, over 20 trucks every day delivering supplies, whether it’s food, whether it’s clothing, whether it’s helping comfort needs. Or just things to improve their quality of life while they’re in a shelter,” said Batson.

He expresses how although many people prefer to donate blankets and clothes, ”financial need is the greatest need.”

“Because then it gives us the opportunity to apply that to what their immediate needs are, you know, everybody they wanna donate clothes and those kinds of things but often times the needs are different than that,” Batson said.

He also shares how he misses his family in Yuma, but being able to provide aid following a natural disaster is a good feeling.

“The ability to serve and knowing that you’re providing the needs of the community and the clients, it’s always very touching,” Batson said. “This is something that has to be part of your compassion and a part of your heart and to do these kinds of things is always a great feeling.”

The death toll has passed 100 in Florida and close to 300,000 Floridians are still without power, according to Power Outage US

Batson says the best way you can donate to Florida is through the American Red Cross, click here if you’re interested.

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