Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida on October 10, 2018, as a Category 5 hurricane. With record-breaking wind speeds of 160mph, Michael is the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle and the third most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the United States. Tracking across the Southeastern United States, it caused power outages for 1.2 million residents in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas. Communities across the region were devastated, with full towns in the Florida Panhandle demolished beyond recognition.
After wrapping up our first program in December 2019, our U.S. assessment team returned to Florida to assess areas still in need of assistance. Once we’re safely able to restart operations in October, we will continue our Hurricane Michael Relief efforts. Our program will focus on the Jackson County area, working on mucking and gutting, debris removal, mold sanitation, chainsawing, home repairs and renewal projects.
Phase I: Panama City, Florida (October, 2018 to December, 2019)
Assessing the immense and widespread destruction of the storm, our Rapid Response team jumped into action immediately after the storm’s landfall. Identifying a great need in Bay and Calhoun counties, the majority of our work focused just outside Youngstown, Florida. Our initial efforts were chainsawing, debris removal and residential flood cleanup; we then worked on mucking and gutting homes, as well as performing mold sanitations.
Our Hurricane Michael program officially transitioned to the recovery phase in June 2019 and began rebuild work on affected homes; we worked in tandem with local community partners to effectively support recovery and helped more than 800 people.