It has almost been two years since Hurricane Irma battered the Golden Isles, bringing with it a devastating storm surge and damaging high winds. You can still see the impact Irma had on some of the houses in the area.

That damage is what Martha Dismer, emergency disaster service case worker for Salvation Army, wants to help clean up before this year’s hurricane season kicks into gear. The Salvation Army’s Disaster Long Term Recovery program is seeking more clients with unmet needs related to Hurricane Irma

At a meeting Monday of the Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster of Coastal Georgia, Dismer said she is hoping to aid more local residents whose homes are still feeling the effects of Irma. The program has more money at its disposal, and its case managers help clients assess their damages, assist them in hiring contractors to repair homes and provide funding to help cover the costs.

The program has been successful for those who have used it. Three major construction projects costing more than $20,000 have been completed. The program has also helped 10 homes get new roofs, seven homes have received intensive exterior repairs and several trailers have been approved for purchase to replace ones damaged by Irma.

We haven’t had any tropical storms yet in 2019, but the potential for development of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico this week is a reminder of the danger posed by these storms. The Isles was lucky not to be hit harder by tropical storms in 2018.

If you are struggling to fix your house two years after Irma or know someone who needs help, we encourage you to contact the Salvation Army and let them know about your situation. Those seeking assistance or hoping to refer a case can contact Dismer at Martha.Dismer@uss.salvationarmy.org.

There may be help for you to get your home fixed before the next disaster comes. If we do get hit by a storm this year, it could make the situation even more grave for homes still damaged by Irma. Let’s nip the problem in the bud now before it has a chance to get worse.

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