On October 10th, 2018, Hurricane Michael hit the coast of Florida as a category 4 storm. 155 mph winds have left more than one million residents without power throughout the Southeastern US. The damage is shocking. Entire homes were swept away and destroyed by the storm, leaving families homeless and desperate for assistance. In keeping with our mission, All Hands and Hearts will be operating a Rapid Response Program to help underserved, heavily damaged communities regain a sense of normalcy.
The problem at this point is two-fold: the damage produced by Hurricane Michael is so extensive at this early stage, it is already clear that relief and recovery efforts will require a massive response. In addition to the sheer scope of the damage, the type of damage (water and wind) will require skilled leadership, and a robust, steady labor force to tackle the gritty work that is so traumatic for families that have just lost virtually everything.
All Hands and Hearts field teams are already on the ground in Florida! With years of natural disaster response efforts to prove it, we have the experience necessary to help these disaster-stricken communities get back on their feet. We are experienced in the activities essential for this process, but our initial work will place a heavy emphasis on mucking and gutting in response to water damage, as well as chainsaw work in response to wind damage and the high number of fallen trees.
Because we serve needs along the full timeline of recovery, AHAH is planning on staying for the long term to help the hardest hit areas of the Southeastern US. Our response work continues after emergency responders have gone, then transitions to permanent rebuild/repairs. Our devoted teams make structural resilience, comfort, and safety a reality for these communities so a return to normalcy is possible. In the process, they forge strong connections and rebuild hope, family by family.