Hurricane Ian was one of the most newsworthy hurricanes covered in the year 2022, striking the state of Florida in late September. How does Florida plan on recovering from Hurricane Ian’s damages?
Though Ian cost the state of Florida more than $70 billion dollars in damages, Florida’s newly constructed buildings are reported to have held up well thanks to strict building codes reports Governor Ron DeSantis. Florida is expected to fully recover thanks to relief funds and health resources like the Dislocated Worker Grant.
The recovery attempts that Florida will need to make cannot be understood without first recognizing the damage Florida must counteract:
- Natural Environment Damage – One of the ways a hurricane like Category-4 Ian can cause damages after making landfall is to the natural environment. According to the director of the Sarasota Bay Estuary System, Florida’s waterways and water quality were degraded by debris that washed in during the storm, making water unsafe to drink.
- Property Damage – According to Axios.com, Ian was the costliest storm in Florida’s current history. It caused over $67 billion in insured losses of property damage.
- Lives Lost – According to the Associated Press, Hurricane Ian can be blamed for the loss of over 90 Florida residents. This is not only tragic, but detrimental to the mental health of those closest to the victims or survivors of the natural disaster.
- Road Damage – Most of the damages caused by Hurricane Ian to Florida are believed to come not from wind damage, but from flooding. Floods and storm surges from Ian broke records across Florida. This flooding presents a particular threat to roadways, which can crack and suffer from base-erosion when left submerged for weeks.
With so much loss in terms of both property and life, it is essential that Florida put in place several methods of recovery for post-natural disasters.
Though there is extensive loss, there is a recovery plan in place. Some of the most prominent of these plants are featured in the list below:
- Florida Disaster Fund – On October 18th, the wife of Governor DeSantis, Casey, announced that more than $40 million has been raised using the Florida Disaster Fund, which are made to the Florida Volunteer Donation from around the world. It will be distributed to several organizations that support communities in Florida post-disaster.
- Mental Health Resources – Also pioneered by the First Lady DeSantis in collaboration with Sara Newhouse, the Mental Health Coordinator for the State after a disaster, is a website where resources for the support of mental health for victims of Hurricane Ian’s damages are compiled.
- Operation Blue Roof – Operation Blue Roof was recently put into place for qualifying applicants in Florida who lost the roofs of their homes to Hurricane Ian. Operation Blue Roof mobilizes workers to cover holes or damages in residences so that survivors of the hurricane have somewhere livable to stay until repairs can be made.
- Dislocated Worker Grant Approved – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity applied for the National Dislocated Worker Grant for Floridians from the Department of Labor in October. It was approved for $30 million in relief funds, which can be used to alleviate some of the losses of job opportunities after businesses were destroyed.
Though these are but a few of Florida’s promising recovery implementations in recent weeks, more are sure to come!
Florida may have experienced significant damages as a result of the powerful hurricane, but it is already taking steps toward recovery.
Despite the best efforts of Governor DeSantis and his wife, as well as the kindhearted and charitable donations of others toward the relief of Florida residents, the damage is projected to have long-lasting environmental effects.