Hurricane Ian, a formidable Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, left a lasting impact as the third-costliest weather disaster ever recorded. Unleashing its devastating force, it became the most lethal hurricane to hit Florida since the notorious Labor Day hurricane of 1935.
Our resilient team members were not spared from the wrath of this monster storm, experiencing destruction of their homes and enduring weeks without essential resources such as power and water. In the aftermath of Ian’s landfall, which led to a declaration of national disaster, FirstService swiftly initiated the Immediate Response Program (IRP). This program, integral to the FirstService Relief Fund, is designed to provide immediate financial assistance to those directly affected by presidentially declared disasters such as Ian.
Among the beneficiaries of the IRP was Jennie D., a dedicated Regional Business Coach at Paul Davis in Southwest Florida.
“My family and I were affected by Hurricane Ian. In the aftermath of the storm I was distraught, and didn’t even know where to begin with all the damage. I had no internet or cell service, power or water. One of my peers sent me a text letting me know there was an immediate fund available with $250 for any needs. I was not able to apply as I had no signal, so I had one of my peers apply for me while I was on the phone with them,” said Jennie.
Unlike standard grants, the IRP waived the required IRS documentation, enabling us to expedite the process and immediately provide vital funds to those in urgent need. We awarded 286 grants totaling $71,500 to team members in need in Florida.
Additionally, recipients of IRP grants are also eligible to apply for standard Relief Fund grants.
“I’ve been through a lot of hurricanes in the 23 years I’ve lived in Florida, but this was by far the worst! We went 18 days with no water or electric which was the worst part. I am so grateful for the support I received, which was helpful in the aftermath of the storm,” added Jennie.
If you or one of your colleagues is experiencing an unforeseen personal hardship, the FirstService Relief Fund may be able to help.