Hurricane Laura, one year later
The one-year anniversary of Hurricane Laura arrives at the same time that Hurricane Ida churns in the Gulf. The storm is scheduled to land on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and heading for the same region. This is not an easy week for survivors of those storms.
Sadly, the most vulnerable among us are expected to shoulder the weight of more extreme weather events when our disaster recovery systems fail them. Southwest Louisiana is still awaiting federal appropriation for recovery funds after the devastation of Laura, the fifth strongest hurricane to hit mainland U.S. in modern history. Recovery is too delayed. People are suffering, and it should not be this way.
Since early this year, we’ve been leading FEMA appeals clinics in the region to help homeowners appeal a pattern of low FEMA awards. To date, we’ve helped individuals win an additional $180,000—which means more people have more accurate funds to repair their damaged homes. They’re one step closer to rebuilding their homes and rebuilding their lives. But more is needed.
At SBP, we have the privilege of serving hardworking homeowners across 13 communities in the U.S and Bahamas — men and women who have cared for their own friends and families in times of need, but more often than not, their wider communities as well.
Earlier this summer, we introduced you to Roy, one of our clients in Sulphur, Louisiana. This week, we welcomed Roy back home to his restored home which includes a FORTIFIED roof.
Roy is known to many, family or not, as Uncle Roy. Despite the sweltering late-summer Louisiana heat this past week, friends and family showed up to sit under tents and listen to our team and our local partners talk about the importance of our shared work in this hard-hit region, and the work there still is to do.
Roy was one of our early FEMA appeals clients. In the end, we helped him get an additional $21,000 in award funding, bringing his total award amount to $34,000. But his recovery journey began with the neighbors who pulled the giant pine tree that crushed his home off the roof. They then cleaned out the home to prevent further water damage to his belongings — especially those airplane models he was so good at making. He’s part of an incredible community of friends and family.
We often talk about our hardworking clients. Roy, at 86, is no exception. It’s obvious he’s slower than he used to be, but you could see in how he hosted his community throughout the event, what a hard worker he is and has been in more ways than one. Towards the end of the party — he’d been back and forth greeting friends for hours, doing interviews with the press, he was tired and it was hot — we watched him amble across the yard to the 3-year-old daughter of the food truck chef and hand her a shiny quarter. This is the kind of client we serve.
Take a tour of Roy’s rebuilt home.
If you’re in the path of Hurricane Ida — be prepared and stay safe.
If you’re not, join our mailing list and we’ll keep you updated on our response.