EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm on Wednesday.

Millions of people were left without power, homes were flooded from storm surge, roofs were ripped apart, and some roads were impassable due to debris and downed power lines.

Since getting in contact with loved ones can be difficult in times of disaster, the American Red Cross offered the following tips:

  • Call during off-peak hours for the best chance of getting through
  • Send a text message, which may go through when phone calls can’t
  • Check social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) for any updates
  • Send an email
  • Call relatives and friends who may have already had contact
  • Call people and places where the person you’re trying to contact is well-known such as neighbors, employers, schools, places of worship, senior centers, etc.

The Red Cross says it sent hundreds of volunteers to Florida ahead of the storm, along with relief supplies.

While many Floridians were forced to evacuate, dozens of emergency shelters were expected to open to help those who remained.