“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 who have been shuffling back and forth for a few weeks now 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”
As of this week, our electricity was restored! Just six weeks post-disaster! That’s amazing. 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 have done to our home so far:
- Temporary roof repair
- Temporary fixes for broken windows and doors
- Removed most hurricane shutters – some are 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
- And many steps in between…
Fix the air conditioner. Like many homeowners, the compressors on our air conditioner are toast. Once we’re able to have our AC system fixed, we can start the process of dehumidifying the house. Then the mold remediation process begins.
For the health and safety of our family, we will not move back into our home until the mold remediation process is complete. This process could take a while, but we are hopeful that progress continues to be faster than originally expected.
What Homeowners Are Facing
Many homeowners are facing 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 to provide a scope of work. All of us have “time” working against us with continued mold growth, a deadline for debris removal, and 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. 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.