Union poised to assist after devastating hurricane

NYSUT Disaster Relief and Scholarship Fund logo

ith Hurricane Ian bringing devastation to Florida in late September, NYSUT has turned its disaster relief efforts to helping members recover from the storm’s damage.

More than 100 people died in the storm, most the result of drowning. Hurricane Ian slammed into the Fort Myers area of Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds that pushed water inland, ravaged barrier islands and gutted coastal buildings.

Miriam Hanan, NYSUT’s retiree services consultant for Florida, still hasn’t heard from many members living in the impacted zones, despite sending out a statewide text urging members to check in following the hurricane.

With thousands of NYSUT retiree members in Florida, the statewide union is deeply concerned about the recovery and welfare of those living in impacted areas, said Secretary-Treasurer J. Philippe Abraham, whose office handles the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund, the union’s 501(c)3 charitable organization.

“Even now, weeks later, some areas of central Florida are still dealing with widespread flooding,” he said. “For many impacted by the storm, recovery will be slow and difficult. I encourage all who are able, to donate to the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund.”

Funded through voluntary donations, the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund provides relief for eligible losses stemming from man-made occurrences, such as an accidental house fire; natural disasters, such as weather-related storm damage; and federally declared qualified disasters, such as flooding.

“If you need assistance, please reach out to me,” said Hanan, who promises to send along all requests for aid to the statewide union. Email miriam.hanan@nysut.org. “We want to make sure everyone is safe and sound.”

Make an online donation at nysut.org/DisasterRelief. Make checks payable to “NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund” and mail to: NYSUT Headquarters, Attn: Disaster Relief, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110. NYSUT assumes 100 percent of the administrative costs associated with the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund.