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Community Efforts Speed Up Hurricane Irma Recovery

Release date: 
June 5, 2018
Release Number: 
DR-4337-FL NR 189

Videos Online Tell Their Stories


ORLANDO, Fla. –Disaster preparation and recovery begin and end locally because community-based resources are the longest lasting presence before and after events like hurricanes.


Hurricane Irma destroyed homes and affected communities across Florida but locals and volunteers have taken initiatives to accelerate recovery. They prepared before the storm to minimize damage, are rebuilding homes and taking actions to lessen negative impacts.   


Several online videos show successes of locals and volunteers in the Florida Keys. Descriptions and links to videos are below:


Fishermen's Community Hospital:  Hurricane Irma destroyed the Marathon hospital. Baptist Health South Florida opened a temporary field hospital in the parking lot so the community continues to have a healthcare facility. Watch their story here:


Habitat for Humanity and Tourism Cares: The two nonprofits have teamed up to repair 200 homes and build another 20 in the Keys. Watch their story here:


St. Columba Episcopal Church: The church in Marathon has bought trailers to house Hurricane Irma survivors. They’ve also purchased an apartment building where survivors can stay while making home repairs. Watch their story here:


Turtle Hospital: A rescue and rehab hospital for sea turtles in Marathon took several steps to prepare for Hurricane Irma. Staff moved expensive medical equipment to higher ground to keep it dry. They also evacuated all the turtles to keep them safe. Watch their story here:


For more Hurricane Irma recovery information, visit


Follow FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Twitter at @FEMARegion4 and @FLSERT. You may also visit FEMA and the Division’s Facebook pages at and


Helping people before, during, and after disasters.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.


FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. 


Last Updated: 
June 5, 2018 - 11:40