There's little question that Hurricane Ian was devastating to Florida. Many areas suffered catastrophic damage, and many Floridians will need to begin the process of rebuilding.
But if there is one silver lining, it is the stories of regular people helping others in the aftermath of the storm. In times of crisis, people tend to roll up their sleeves and help their neighbors, members of their communities, or complete strangers. Below are examples of such stories.
A Stranger Who Volunteered to Check on the Well-Being of Others: Christine Bomlitz lives in Las Vegas and was unable to contact her 84-year-old mother, who uses a walker and was stuck in her home in Englewood, Florida. So Bomlitz reached out on social media and asked if anyone would be willing to check on her mother.
Even though Cheyenne Prevatt had sustained damage to her own home, she volunteered to walk in chest-deep water to go and check on Bomlitz's mother, who was safe in her home. Prevatt was able to take a photo of Bomlitz's mother to soothe worries.
"I’m thankful for this stranger," Bomlitz told Fox News. "a total stranger. People are amazing."
The Good Samaritans Who Saved a Man From A Flooded Car: A post on Instagram shows a group of men in waist-high water save an elderly man from a flooded car in Bonita Springs. The video is quite dramatic, and you can hear the whistling of the wind and the sound of sloshing water throughout the rescue.
"We saw an elderly man struggling in his car, and we knew he needed help," Benny from @colliercountycowboys told Fox Weather.
People Helping Animals in the Aftermath of Ian: Big Dog Ranch Rescue has been traveling across the state to help animal shelters that are in need or overcrowded after the hurricane. They've also been rescuing displaced animals and giving pet food and supplies to owners in need.
There is also dramatic footage of a good samaritan rescuing a dog from a sailboat in Ft. Myers. The Twitter post indicated that the man also rescued a cat.
The Retired Police Officer Buying Repair Supplies to Help Others: Jim Zajac is originally from Massachusetts, and used to work as a police officer. Today, he is retired and lives in Port St. Lucie. WPTV found him in the parking lot of his local Home Depot buying supplies to fix roofs for residents of Port Charlotte. He told the station that he was "trying to help people."
Everyday People Who Are Offering Their Time and Talents to Clean Up Debris: Countless people have and are giving their time to help clean up the devastation left by Ian.
Some organizations have large groups of volunteers who help those who aren't able to clean up themselves. Organizations like CrisisCleanup.org offer their time to help with fallen trees, removing drywall, and tarping roofs.
In Ft. Myers a group of regular, everyday people banded together to yield chainsaws and machetes to clear debris so first responders could get to heavily-impacted areas. The group worked until it was too dark to see and then got up early the next morning to continue their efforts.
Organizations and Volunteers Offering Free Meals: Organizations like World Central Kitchen and Feeding America are relying on volunteers to feed thousands of people all over Florida that have been affected by the hurricane.