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Colorado deploys support teams to Florida in wake of Hurricane Ian, plus how you can help

CO Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management_sending crew to Florida
Posted at 3:23 PM, Sep 29, 2022

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Colorado is sending help to Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which has left 2.67 million homes and businesses in the Sunshine State without power.

On Tuesday morning, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) deployed 13 public safety professionals from the state's incident management teams and DHSEM to Florida, the Colorado Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced Thursday. The 13-member team will be responsible for receiving and distributing supplies, DPS said.

READ MORE: Help those affected by Hurricane Ian by donating to the Scripps Howard Fund for Hurricane Relief

DHSEM also deployed a logistics specialist on Monday to the Florida State emergency operations center.

Tropical Weather
Damages boats lie on the land and water in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

This group will spend 14 days providing support to an emergency operations center in Ocala as part of an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request for Hurricane Ian, DPS said. The EMAC, according to its website, "offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency or disaster through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states."

DHSEM coordinates any deployments for the EMAC.

In August, DHSEM deployed staff to Kentucky following major flooding and to New Mexico for wildfires and flash flooding.

Denver7's parent company, E.W. Scripps, owns five TV stations in Florida, including affiliates in Fort Meyers and Tampa. We have dozens of journalists on the ground and we know firsthand just how devastating this storm is. That’s why Denver7 Gives is partnering with the Scripps Howard Fund for Hurricane Relief, organizing monetary donations for the people affected by the storm. Our teams across Florida will work directly with local organizations to make sure every cent you give, goes directly to the people and communities impacted by the storm. Click here to learn more or text the word STORM to 50155 and follow the prompts.

Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, hit Florida on Wednesday as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States, according to the Associated Press. It tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the country.

Aerial photos from Fort Myers showed homes that had been ripped from the slabs, razed businesses near the beach, damaged boats, broken docks, and fires smoldering where houses once stood, the AP reported.

APTOPIX Tropical Weather Florida
This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Sheriffs in southwest Florida said 911 centers were inundated by thousands of stranded callers, some with life-threatening emergencies.