“What’s Next?” – It’s a question we ask ourselves every day as we slowly work through the list of things that need to be addressed following Hurricane Ian.
Most island residents are over the initial “shock” of returning home to an unrecognizable place. As road debris is cleared and repair work begins, there’s a strong feeling of hope for many of us. In fact, this recovery process is moving along MUCH faster than many of us expected.
The “Luckier Ones”
Just six weeks post-Ian, our electricity was restored! That’s amazing, considering the extensive damage our islands received from the near-Cat 5 Hurricane. We consider ourselves one of the “luckier” ones who were able to quickly assess the damage to our home and start the rebuilding process. Here’s an idea of what we did in the weeks immediately following the storm:
- Temporary roof repair
- Temporary fixes for broken windows and doors
- Removed most hurricane shutters – some were broken and stuck
- Mucked the lower level
- Gutted the lower level including drywall and contents
- Removed vegetative and other debris
- Met with insurance adjusters
- Restored water & electricity
- Fixed the AC unit and dehumidified the house
- Hired professional mold remediators
- And many steps in between…
For the health and safety of our family, we did not move back into our home until the mold remediation process was complete, which happened to be January 1st, 2023.
What Homeowners Are Facing
Many homeowners faced similar situations as ours. However, some weren’t as “lucky” as us. There are ground-level homes that had to be completely gutted. Elevated homes with major roof damage. Gulf-front homes that are not repairable. And many others who aren’t yet sure how to move forward.
Many of us are awaiting word from insurance adjusters, appraisers, and contractors. All of us have “time” working against us with contractors booked out for weeks.
In short, we are facing a long road ahead. But we are in awe of what has already been accomplished. Many of the businesses on island have reopened or are at least planning to reopen in 2023.
Each time we drive over the Causeway and glance to the left we see the lighthouse standing strong, bringing a smile to our faces and providing hope for the journey forward.