While we await coordination among local, state and federal authorities on temporary housing remedies for the estimated 7,500 to 10,000 panhandle victims of Hurricane Michael who need it, the tremendous outpouring of donations and volunteer efforts continues unabated, including from readers of this LMA Newsletter. We want to share two of those stories with you.
As of yesterday, The Salvation Army has provided 544,000 meals and more than 50,000 hours of service to panhandle survivors over the past nearly four weeks. Trained personnel have also provided emotional and spiritual care to 36,000 people. The Red Cross has approximately 800 relief workers in the affected counties.
Our LMA Newsletter readers were among those who have travelled to the panhandle to help out. Among them, Jim West from American Integrity Insurance Group in Tampa, who joined the more than 1,000 volunteers from his church who came from a five-state area to help clear fallen trees. He wrote, in part, on October 21:
“There was devastation pretty much from Liberty County down to Panama City. The common theme was that as businesses start to reopen, hope is returning. Also, the locals said that they knew who their neighbors were before, but now they actually know them individually through this storm. They feel their community is tighter now.”
And this from John Rollins of Milliman actuarial consultants, who wrote on October 22:
“I drove I-10 to Montgomery last weekend. Miles and miles of trees just snapped off at 10 feet above ground – 50 miles inland from PCB. I didn’t go through Marianna but Cottondale is destroyed and pitch black at night, no lights. The truck stops at the interstates had power but every roof was tarped. There was roof and tree damage all the way into Dothan.”
If you’d like to volunteer, Volunteer Florida has a list of nearly 10,000 registered volunteers that it has connected with volunteer opportunities.
We at Lisa Miller and Associates appreciate those of you who have donated your time and/or funds to help the victims of Hurricane Michael. We also appreciate those who wrote to thank us for our efforts through this newsletter and other efforts we’ve undertaken to help. Among the many, one really stands out:
“Lisa, I know that you do what you do for the benefit of others, and you always have for the 30+ years that I’ve known you (God, I can’t believe it’s been that long). And you have helped so many people in such a short amount of time after such a horrible disaster. I just want to say that you are doing such an amazing job for the people of Florida. On behalf of all them, thank you so very much.”
Have you helped our neighbors in the panhandle? Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund, the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities during times of emergency or disaster. To donate, visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text “DISASTER” to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10. The American Red Cross has set up a link for donations atop their website at www.redcross.org. We hope you will consider donating your time or treasury to help in the relief and recovery!