Hurricane Irma Aftermath

September 20, 2017

Hurricane Irma has caused significant damage to the Jacksonville area.  The Florida Times Union recently reported that the storm has used the poor closer to the edge of ruin.  Individuals struggling before the storm have left people with even less.  Nearly 16% of the residents of Florida live in poverty and the losses that the storm caused are limiting options even more as their lives are up-ended.  Increased expenses, the loss of household possessions and the loss of a place to live have exponentially  increased the stress that indigent individuals feel on a daily basis.


For people who have disability applications pending, hearings have been canceled and due to office closures, Social Security is falling even further behind.  For people receiving disability, which is a fixed income, fleeing the storm may not have been an option.  The cost of cleaning up and finding a new place to live is pushing people even closer to the edge.


The Times Union reported that one couple who survive on disability checks had been living on a sailboat they purchased a year ago for $1,000 on eBay.  After the storm they stayed on cots in a shelter and are struggling to figure out if they could get a new boat if theirs was destroyed.  They subsequently learned that their boat was intact, but not all people have been so lucky.



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