Ian’s Victims Crowdsource Rescue Efforts

This image provided courtesy of Heather Donlan and posted on social media, shows flooding from Hurricane Ian in her father’s home in Naples, Fla. Donlan said her social media post crowdsourced the person she holds responsible for saving her father’s life as flooding inundated the 87-year-old’s home. (Courtesy of Heather Donlan via AP)

Ian’s Victims Crowdsource Rescue Efforts

Many people whose loved ones stayed behind in the pathway of Hurricane Ian are crowdsourcing rescue efforts as they grapple with the helplessness of waiting and not knowing.

In TikTok videos and Facebook posts, families are sharing their desperate pleas and strangers are answering their calls, even as local officials urge people to use official channels for help.

Hannah Foltz had assumed her grandparents, Janet and Larry, evacuated from their mobile home in Naples. But when the 35-year-old in Indiana heard from her mother, she learned they had not only stayed but the water that flooded their home was almost chest deep with the fridge floating. Her 75-year-old grandmother didn’t know how to swim.

“We were all in like pure panic mode, sitting in Indiana, crying, feeling helpless,” Foltz said.

She turned to a Facebook group of more than 400,000 people, #HurricaneStrong.

“They are terrified, and both have health conditions,” she posted in the group along with her grandparents’ address.

She didn’t expect for even one social media user to head out to her grandparents and report back so quickly. But that was followed by another good Samaritan and then two more.

“Knowing that there are people out there that just literally want to go help a complete stranger,” she said. “That was just like a miracle.”

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