Frequently Asked Questions
What was the impact of Hurricane Irma?
Hurricane Irma hit Northeast Florida on September 11, 2017. The storm knocked out power to more than half of JEA customers and caused flooding on a scale that the city has not seen in more than half a century, surpassing that which was seen in Hurricane Dora in 1964. More than 118,000 households registered for assistance with FEMA in Duval and Nassau counties, indicating nearly 1 in 3 households was substantially impacted by the storm.
The flooding from the storm left thousands of homes along the St. Johns River and its many tributaries damaged or uninhabitable. In May, World Renew Disaster Response Services, an international aid organization with expertise in response and recovery efforts, conducted a full needs assessment to help us understand the overall impact of the storm, as well as the remaining long-term recovery needs that exist in the community. World Renew conducted 211 household surveys, resulting in an estimated recovery cost of $3,912,538. The majority of these costs are related to rebuilding and repair. The NFLTRO suspects this is a fraction of the actual need based on the number of FEMA registrations.
Hurricane Irma hit well over a year ago. Why are there still households recovering?
For individuals with property and/or flood insurance policies and the means to cover deductibles, recovery came quickly. However, not all households were so fortunate. Many low to moderate income households were either uninsured or underinsured, with limited finances and little to no savings. Consequently, they have been unable to complete needed repairs. The needs assessment identified numerous vulnerable populations, with some individuals falling into multiple categories.
- 39% elderly
- 26% disabled
- 17% single parents
- 13% medical problems
- 10% veterans
What other resources are available for individuals?
Any homeowner who suffered damage from the storm is able to register with Rebuild Florida, a program of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. This program with specific eligibility requirements will use federal funds to repair and replace homes damaged as a result of Hurricane Irma.
For residents living in the Ken Knight Drive neighborhood in Northwest Jacksonville, assistance may be available through the City of Jacksonville, thanks to a grant from the United Arab Emirates. While the process for assistance and contracts are still in development, $250,000 has been earmarked for Builders Care to repair homes, and $400,000 has been designated for HabiJax to build four new homes.
Other NFLTRO partners, such as Catholic Charities and Builders Care, have received grants to continue the recovery effort, but these dollars will only go so far. The UNR is designed to assist families when all other resources have been exhausted.
Who are the individuals the UNR is seeking to assist?
The NFLTRO is committed to addressing the vulnerable populations identified in the needs assessment process. Our Disaster Case Management Framework identifies the following groups as priority to serve:
- Households with residents over 60 years of age
- Households with persons with disabilities
- Low income generally defined as 200% of federal poverty level
- Households with minors
- Unemployed due to disaster
Who will be performing the repair work?
Endeavors as primary case manager will assess home damage and work with a Construction Manager to estimate repair costs, which will be included in the case presented to the Unmet Needs Roundtable. The Construction Managers are local Community Development Corporations (CDC) as well as Builders Care. If funding is awarded, the Construction Manager will engage their licensed and insured contractors to accomplish the work and report on results. The NFLTRO’s Construction Committee has developed standards and an oversight process to ensure work performed meets the FEMA habitability standard of a safe, sanitary and functional condition.
How will money I contribute be used?
Funds donated to the Unmet Needs Roundtable will be managed by the NFLTRO’s fiscal agent, Mental Health America of Northeast Florida, and disbursed in progress payments to contractors. 100% of funds will be used to pay for labor, materials and construction management costs directly related to the scope of work outlined in the UNR-approved repair estimate. No funds will be given directly to individuals. Home repair funding will also leverage separate funding to employ more construction workers from the underserved neighborhoods of Urban Core Health Zone 1, offer them a pre-apprenticeship skills training program, and expand the capacity of construction contractors based in these target underserved neighborhoods. Disaster recovery is thus transformed into community change opportunities.