Assisting With Recovery

From mobilizing volunteers to help to collecting and distributing funds to provide direct relief to those in need, United Way Suncoast will do all it can to help our community recover from Hurricane Idalia. We have launched disaster recovery fundraising efforts for our five-county region and for other parts of the state impacted by Idalia. As always, our focus will be on mid- and long-term recovery while supporting partners who specialize in immediate relief.

Click here to learn more.

Other notes of interest:

  • As of Thursday (Aug. 31), local, state and federal government emergency relief organizations continue to make needs assessments based on the damage. Nonprofit organizations have also started assessments but those may be hampered by inaccessible roads or power outages. We will chart a course of action for supporting community members and our nonprofit partners as more information comes in.
  • The best way to help following a disaster is by making a financial donation to a reputable relief fund such as United Way Suncoast or United Way of Florida. Relief organizations can use your donations to buy truly needed items in bulk at wholesale prices, and utilize their distribution systems to get those supplies to the areas in most need. 
  • A financial donation prevents the “Second Disaster” which happens when a community is inundated with donated items.  Often, there’s little storage, limited manpower and no way to clean used goods.  Donated items may be stored uncovered, outside, which leads to mildew or items decaying in the heat.  Items that can’t be used end up being thrown away.
  • Gifts also may be made to United Way of Florida Fund. Contributions to the UWOF Disaster Fund will be directed to Florida communities most impacted by a disaster of any kind. One donation can be made to benefit multiple communities or directed to a specific need or location/county.

Getting Help

United Way Suncoast continues to work as a resource for our community members and our partners. We have reopened our neighborhood resource centers, but the Campbell Park Resource Center’s Family Night, which was originally scheduled for Aug. 31, has been postponed.

On this page, you’ll find guidance about available assistance and how you can support our mid- and long-term recovery efforts.

Here are some partner updates:

  • FEMA: Residents in Pinellas County impacted by Hurricane Idalia can now apply for FEMA assistancePinellas County has been added to the list of Florida counties under the Major Disaster Declaration. Pinellas joins Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Pasco, Suwannee and Taylor counties, which were previously approved for Individual Assistance.

  • Red Cross has Information available about temporary shelters for community members whose homes were damaged by storm surge on redcross.org, the free Red Cross Emergency app or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767). You can also check with local officials and monitor local news for information on where to find temporary shelter. Visit floridadisaster.org.
  • The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay continues to monitor the after effects of the storm. You can call 211 in any of our five counties to connect to information about local resources and for immediate emotional support.

  • Feeding Tampa Bay continues to assist community members facing food insecurity. Find a distribution near you and collect resources for your family: https://bit.ly/3qXtfFW

  • Metropolitan Ministries has reopen its meal distribution and family support sites. Click here for more information.

  • St. Petersburg Free Clinic has reopened its services. Visit https://www.facebook.com/StPeteFreeClinic for updates.

  • ECHO of Brandon has reopened its offices. Click here for more information.

  • Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee volunteers and clients should check www.MealsOnWheelsPLUS.org for information.

  • All Faiths Food Bank has resumed its business operations, distributions and partner pantries. Volunteers and clients can click here for updated information.

For Our Nonprofit Partners

If your organization needs volunteer support after the storm’s impact, You can contact projects@uwsuncoast.org for assistance. However, you’ll need to register your organization. Click here to see if your organization is already registered, or click here to register

Support Idalia Recovery

We all hope a hurricane will never hit our community, but it’s wise to be prepared.

During hurricane season, Floridians hope for the best and prepare for the worst. As we’ve seen with Hurricane Ian, the situation can change rapidly, often with little time to prepare. But, no matter the situation, or where you live, you can rest assured that a local United Way will be there with your community every step of the way. Local United Ways like United Way Suncoast are independent nonprofit organizations led by local staff and volunteers, but we’re all pulling together in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. 

In times of disaster, every United Way works diligently to organize resources and connect those in need with those who can help, coordinate volunteer efforts, bridge communication and leverage relationships to ensure our neighbors have the support they need to recover. United Way Suncoast has created a disaster recovery fund for its five-county footprint. So have other United Way affiliates. But we’re also working through United Way of Florida to support community members across the state.  Visit https://www.uwof.org/disaster-recovery-fund to learn more about our collaborative efforts. #United4Florida 

Hope Villages of America and Feeding Tampa Bay are both seeking volunteers to help with food distribution in the aftermath of Ian. Please visit https://www.volunteersuncoast.org/disaster to learn more.

Here are some helpful planning tips from the federal government’s Department of Health and Social Services:

  • Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.
  • Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the hurricane strikes.
  • Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water or fallen power lines and before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate.
  • Secure structurally unstable building materials.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it.
  • Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, stocks, etc.
  • Post emergency phone numbers at every phone. Put important numbers in your cell phone’s contacts.
  • Inform local authorities about any special needs, for example, elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability.
  • Make plans to ensure your pets’ safety.


American Red Cross
The United States’ largest emergency response organization. Site includes a missing person’s registry and a variety of disaster preparation and response materials.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Hurricane Information Federal site includes information on preventing illnesses and infections, food safety, worker response, and other topics.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA is responsible for responding to national disasters, training first responders, and managing the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. For Hurricane Ian information and claims, go to https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4673#help-families.

The U.S. government’s official web portal. Site includes information on finding loved ones, helping survivors, and other topics.

Red Cross Emergency Preparedness
Plan and prepare.

The Army Corps of Engineers has a BLUE ROOF program. If your roof has been damaged or is leaking from Hurricane Ian, you can call (888)766-3258. This is temporary until you can have a roofer replace your roof. 

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