The news may have moved on to newer things, but the aftermath of Hurricane Ian has left many Floridians in a state of survival. Their homes have been flooded and damaged, if they still stand at all in much of Southwest Florida including Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Marco Island, Sanibel, and Captiva. This usual tropical escape paradise now looks like a war-torn nation.
It is easy to look from a distance and say “Oh well. Insurance will cover it and FEMA will help”, but the truth is that insurance companies are making massive payouts at catastrophic levels. Flood insurers are dumping the burden on home insurance saying it’s the wind damage that has caused the destruction and homeowners insurance policies are pointing the finger back at flood insurers. The fact is it could easily bankrupt companies and that would leave homeowners out in the cold.
Searching for contractors is a scary undertaking as well. Not only are looters being arrested daily but scam contractors are as well. It’s terrible to think there are people trying to prey on those already so kicked down. Many people are pulling whatever money they do have from savings or retirement accounts to try and fix their homes even ahead of the insurance checks being cut. They simply cannot wait as mold (often toxic black mold) begins to set into the soggy home remnants. Some are not so financially sound to be able to do this and must sit and wait as the line for contractor projects grow longer in wait times.
It has been over two weeks since Ian accosted the coast of Florida. Many are still without power, without internet, and trucks with supplies are having a tough time stocking stores. People have lost their cars, and many do not have transportation. Gas lines are long, and stations are sometimes out of gas.
The images you see on the news do not compare to the vastness of the damage in person. The vibe in SWFL is a mix of sadness, shock, and a rising group spirit that will not be defeated even by mother nature. Floridians are a special breed. They will overcome.
Right now, though they sure could use some help.
If you are so inclined one of the best and most direct ways you can make a difference is to support the Cajun Navy. They are bringing supplies and assistance directly to the people where it is needed.
Donate cash: https://www.cajunnavyrelief.com/
Send supplies directly instead of cash: Their wish list which can be used by logging into amazon on your own acct and then choosing off the list located at Amazon.com.
Photo credit: Dawn Hunter of Naples, FL – Taken in the Vanderbilt Beach area.