It’s hard to believe it’s been about a year since I last brought up hurricane season, despite being very aware that it’s been going on for a while now. We’ve been fortunate thus far here in Florida and I’m very thankful for the somewhat quiet season we’ve been experience. However, with the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy quickly approaching, it is a subject I would like to cover again.
Last year I had the immense honor of getting to watch Rebuilding Together’s Orlando affiliate give Ms. Lipofsky her home back after she had been removed from it for way too long. If you remember, her home was damaged excessively by 2004 hurricane season that brought multiple hurricanes crisscrossing across the Central Florida area all within a few short weeks. This was my first experience getting to see first hand all the good that Rebuilding Together does for those that they assist and it was then that I vowed it wouldn’t be my last.
With Hurricane Sandy’s one year mark right around the corner, I knew that the northern Rebuilding Together affiliates must be hard at work trying to return homeowners to their properties and so I decided that I would find out more. In August of this year it was announced that the American Red Cross was awarding $10 million in grants to eight nonprofit groups to aid in recovery from the storm. Rebuilding Together was chosen as one of the lucky organizations and was awarded $2.25 million of the $10 million to help them rebuild nearly 90 homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Each Monday for the next six weeks you’ll be seeing a feature about one of Rebuilding Together’s affiliates as they once again work their magic and restore a home back to livable conditions for its owner. When everyone else packs up after a storm has passed, and many think their work is done, you can count on Rebuilding Together to step in and help those who feel as if their homes were forgotten. It’s time to pay tribute to their hard work and dedication once again. They even have a web series about the work they are doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, so you too can see first hand what I was so lucky to witness last year.
Here in Florida, although the devastation of a hurricane is still felt, we all know the usual drill and are prepared to hunker down when hurricanes begin to head our way. However, our northern coastal friends proved last year that not everyone is used to what I like to call the “hurricane hunker down dance.” It’s a bit like a jig, but it involves sandbags and storm panels as props. I don’t think it will ever be as popular at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs as the electric slide or YMCA though. Regardless, I think the unpredictability of hurricanes in the last several years is proving that we all need to be well versed in this precautionary quick-step so join me as I check in to see how people affected by Hurricane Sandy are coming along a year later.