Hurricane Ian has strengthened to Category 4 as it continues its path toward Florida. As with so many emergencies, the American Red Cross is preparing to assist with various aspects of evacuation, supplies, clean-up, and more. Hurricane Ian Storm Preparation Ahead of the hurricane, volunteers with the Red Cross were working to load supplies for evacuation shelters in Florida. And they are urging people in Hurricane Ian's path to heed the advice of local authorities and evacuate when asked. The American Red Cross website says this could be the first direct hit Tampa has experienced in over 100 years. In addition, the National Hurricane Center is warning about life-threatening storm surge and significant flooding. Red Cross Efforts Hundreds of trained volunteers, along with thousands of relief supplies, have been sent to Florida in preparation. Dozens of shelters are opening to provide safety during the storm. If someone you know is in the storm's path and needs shelter, information is available at RedCross.org, in the app, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). How You Can Help You can help people affect by Hurricane Ian, and other similar disasters, by making a gift to the Red Cross Disaster Relief. Because, no matter the amount, every donation matters. This helps the American Red Cross prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters of any size. To Donate: Visit RedCross.org. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. If you want to help people specifically affected by Hurricane Ian, the Red Cross asks that you write "Hurricane Ian" in the memo line on your check. You can then mail the check to your local Red Cross Chapter, with the completed Donation Form. Our American Red Cross of East Central Georgia is located at 1322 Ellis Street, Augusta, GA 30901. Donate Blood: The Red Cross is sending hundreds of Type O blood products to Florida to help patients who are impacted by the storm. If you are able to do so, the Red Cross urges you to make a blood donation. You can schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting their website, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).