HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Texans are stepping up to help our Floridian neighbors, millions of whom lost power. Whole blocks and communities have either been wiped out, or remain under water.
Rescues are still underway, and the death toll continues to go up. When it's all said and done, this could end up being the deadliest storm to hit Florida. It's already one of the most powerful to strike the U.S.
Houstonians are no stranger to disasters, so when it's our turn to assist, we're there. Trae Tha Truth and his non-profit group Relief Gang arrived in the Sunshine State Friday. They're armed with chainsaws, high water trucks, tarps, and are partnering with restaurants to provide food.
"At the end of the day, when people are in need, you don't have time to get mentally prepared," Trae explained. "If I get mentally prepared and wait, that could cost somebody their life being stranded in the house. Sometimes, you just have to move to action, and everything else ... God will take care of it."
Jim ''Mattress Mack' McIngvale is another person quick to serve. On Friday, he surprised a woman with 12 foster children who evacuated from Punta Gorda, Florida with furniture, Astros gear and game tickets. They're staying with her sister in Livingston, and say the help came right on time.
Florida evacuee Sharon Reardon explained, "We have a three-bedroom mobile home, and there's 15, 16, maybe 17 total. Some of them are sleeping on plywood floors. I called up Mattress Mack and I said, 'Hey can you help? I saw your commercial on TV, or the internet.' And he said, 'Hey, come on down. See you at 1:00 tomorrow.'"
Mattress Mack is hosting a donation drive at his North Freeway Gallery Furniture location. If you want to help Ian survivors, you can drop off things like water, bleach, buckets, shovels, mops and non-perishable food. You can also make a financial donation at www.redcross.org/abc.