People that have suffered through some of the strongest storms to hit the U.S. have been devastated in many ways. Hurricane Laura, for instance, hit August 27th and ripped through Louisiana and Texas coasts causing many people to flee their homes in order to get out of the path of the storm. The hurricane managed to kill at least four people and left hundreds if not thousands of people with no power.
It is said that the area looks as if a bomb went off. Hurricane Laura left local businesses fiercely damaged and many homes now in need of residential storm damage restoration. Some of those homes were crushed by trees or had high winds tear off roofs and damage not only the external part of their homes but also the internal.
Many Are in Need of Storm Damage Repair Services
With so much destruction, how can you help? People in Texas and Louisiana now need electric repair and roof repair that they can’t afford. Thankfully there are organizations such as All Hands and Hearts that are ready to reach out and provide help with residential storm damage restoration by providing storm damage repair services.
The All Hands and Hearts team is fully dedicated to helping families that have been impacted by Hurricane Laura as well as Hurricane Delta which hit before Laura. Their work comes with the support of AmeriCorps NCCC members. The focus has been on debris removal, using chain saws for tree removal, tarping roofs, and overall gutting and mucking.
Tree removal and roof tarping were wrapped up in December, giving them the opportunity to start a Resilient Roof Repair Program to address residential storm damage restoration efforts. The goal is to better protect homes that are still being reconstructed and to meet long-term recovery needs. Other needs that may be addressed include plumbing repairs, garage door repair, as well as garage door opener repairs. Recovery and response activities are expected to continue in Louisiana through 2021.
Wildfires Are a Different Type of Storm Damage
Can a wildfire really be considered a storm? Up to 95% of wildfires located in California have been caused by humans. No matter how they start, whether by human or nature, a fire whirl, or fire tornado can occur and cause significant damage and are a force to be reckoned with.
Wildfires are a common part of the landscape in California. Since the 1970s, they have only increased in size with annual burned areas growing by almost 500%. This year, California saw one of the biggest fire seasons recorded in modern history. Nearly 4.2 million acres have been burned with over 1,000 structures being destroyed or damaged causing a great need for residential storm damage restoration. As of August 18th, the governor of California has declared a state of emergency. Later in October, the state of emergency was upgraded to a declaration of federal disaster.
Volunteer organizations are already exploring ways to help people who may not have had home insurance, or their insurance doesn’t cover the damage to their home. All Hands and Hearts has already conducted assessments of areas impacted by the wildfires. Their conclusion determined that severely damaged areas are going to require the use of a year-round program.
This program has been designed to encompass recovery and mitigate impact while responding to wildfires. Currently, All Hands and Hearts has partnered with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to identify and connect with communities that are otherwise vulnerable and require assistance. The general focus is on internal home rebuilds as well as fire mitigation projects. Those projects include creating defensible areas by removing and felling trees and fuel breaks.
Catastrophic Storms Have Been Battering the U.S.
While Hurricane Michael hit Florida in 2018, the damage it caused has taken until 2019, and in some cases 2020 to fix. Residential storm damage restoration was in much need after the Category 5 hurricane hit with record-breaking wind speeds up to 160 mph. Hurricane Michael is noted to be one of the strongest storms in the continental U.S. to make landfall since Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. It was certainly the biggest to ever hit the Florida Panhandle.
In the wake of Hurricane Michael there was much flood damage causing the need for a massive amount of flood damage restoration. Devastating winds took electricity away from 1.4 million Floridians and also put residents in the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama in complete darkness. Many communities were devastated, with the Panhandle experiencing fully demolished towns that were no longer recognizable. Electric repair was needed for thousands of homeowners.
It took the love and care from volunteer organizations to help the areas fully recover. With efforts put into residential storm damage restoration such as flood clean-up, debris removal, mold sanitation, and gutting and mucking homes a recovery phase was officially in place by June of 2019. Rebuilding with a focus on residential storm damage restoration helped over 800 people that needed the support to recover.
Disaster Strikes the Bahamas
September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian, another Category 5 hurricane, hit The Bahamas. Wind speeds caused much damage at 185 mph. Once Hurricane Dorian hit The Bahamas, it slowed down to 1 mph while over Grand Bahama and prolonged the exposure of life-threatening storm surges of 18 to 23 feet over normal tide levels. It has been the strongest hurricane to hit The Bahamas on record. Hurricane Dorian actually tied the record for the strongest Atlantic hurricane to actually make landfall.
With such immense damage, storm damage services are still needed. The immense support from global and local partners has enabled residential storm damage restoration to continue and is expected to continue clear through September 2021. Volunteer teams from many organizations have worked tirelessly to restore schools, businesses, and homes. To date, many homes still require roof repair as well as mold sanitation. Those two restoration services seem to be the highest needs for residents.
Which Volunteer Organizations Should You Support?
After reading about all of those natural disasters, you may be thinking about supporting volunteer organizations and their efforts. They are the people that face the full impact of storm-related tragedies right along with the victims that need residential storm damage restoration.
Donating money is a great way for you to help. Volunteer organizations work hard to distribute money in accordance with a community’s urgent needs. Before you give, you should do a little research to ensure the volunteer organization you want to fund is reputable. There are sites you can visit such as Guidestar and Charity Navigator, which rate nonprofits concerning their financial wellness and effectiveness. You can also search the IRS’s database to find out if an organization is able to accept a tax-deductible contribution.
Noteworthy National Organizations That Help with Residential Storm Damage Restoration
The Red Cross has already had hundreds of volunteers assisting with medical services in Texas and Louisiana. They have taken great steps to aid in relief efforts and take donations via their website. If you prefer, you can also text code LAURA to 90999 and donate $10.
While residential storm damage restoration is important, organizations such as The Salvation Army are making sure that people are fed during a time of crisis. They opened over 15 mobile feeding stations in an effort to aid survivors and first-responders across Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. If you would like to donate to them, visit their website where they accept food as well as other supplies.
Other organizations such as Americares utilizes a dedicated relief fund used to support medicine deliveries, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, or P.P.E. to disaster areas. The United Way in Southwest Louisiana is taking funds to support long- and short-term relief efforts for tragedies such as Hurricane Laura. Both organizations can be reached via their websites, as well.
There are many other organizations offering emergency response care for people who require residential storm damage restoration. All Hands and Hearts does a great job deploying volunteers to many different disaster sites that need assistance with rebuilding homes, cleaning, and developing long-term recovery plans. You are welcome to sign up and volunteer or donate funds to their Hurricane Laura relief fund.
Sometimes the Best Way to Offer Support Is with Meals
Certain operations, such as Operation BBQ Relief and Mercy Chefs, offer support to those offering residential storm damage restoration services, emergency medical workers, and survivors. Tasty barbecue along with hearty meals are a great way to ensure everyone gets much-needed food while working hard. Displaced families are ensured they know where their next meal is going to come from until they can live a normal life again.
Some people may even be facing not having a home at all and are displaced. Family Promise is determined to support people facing homelessness due to storms. Reliable organizations like this could always use donations and support so they can keep on helping the people who need it the most.
Local Non-Profit Organizations Need Your Support Too
Local non-profit organizations always need support, as well. Foundations such as SBP was started by a St. Bernard Parish couple in 2006 who were frustrated by slow responses after Hurricane Katrina. The model of this non-profit has a focus on directly streamlining the process of recovery. This includes residential storm damage restoration for rebuilding homes quickly as well as restoring businesses in the area.
The overall organization supports policies aiding in long-term recovery. The St. Bernard Project, now known as SBP, is always seeking volunteers as well as donations. Donations go directly for supplies for home restorations, and for P.P.E. for team members as well as other needs.
Citizen-Led Disaster Response Teams Focus on Community
The Cajun Navy is a citizen-led disaster response team that’s nonprofit. They focus on rescuing people who are stranded and need many critical supplies. Some of their most urgent needs include rubber boots, cleaning materials, bleach, insect spray, gloves, wipes, disinfectants, and masks.
Teams like these set up in communities where disasters have occurred are always in need of donations. Find out more about their organization and how you can help to make a real difference in the lives of people who have been struck by devastating natural disasters.
At the Heart of It All Volunteers Power Relief
Volunteers are always the driving force when it comes to fully serving a community affected by a disaster. It seems natural disasters are becoming more frequent and intense across the globe. There is much need for a more thoughtful and better approach to the way people help and respond to an impacted community concerning recovery.
It takes volunteers ready to work within an organization to address the long-term and immediate needs of disaster-affected communities. Many come early and stay late addressing those needs right alongside local residents. There is no better way to make a direct impact than through helping communities and families in recovering by constructing resilient, safe homes and schools as well as other community infrastructures.
Natural disasters make communities vulnerable emotionally and financially. Volunteers help by building in a disaster-resilient manner that also helps stricken communities prepare for future events. Do you think you could be a passionate volunteer? Do you feel the need to donate or partner with a non-profit organization offering disaster relief support?
All it takes is a little time, effort, and donations. There are plenty of trustworthy non-profit organizations ready to help communities with storm damage restoration when they need it the most. Check out the websites of some of the non-profits mentioned and find active programs that offer support across the globe.