The Golden Isles was fortunate last year that the two major hurricanes that came within our vicinity didn’t hit us directly. Outside of some rain and high tides, Glynn County came out pretty well in 2018 while hurricanes Florence and Michael battered our neighbors to the north and southwest.
Unfortunately for some in our area, they are still dealing with the disastrous effects from hurricanes Matthew and Irma in 2016 and 2017. Some low-income families in the Isles are still living in a nightmare created by the double-whammy of Matthew and Irma.
Even residents that thought they had done everything they needed to be protected in case of a catastrophic hurricane are still in need. Take the case of longtime Brunswick resident Veda Lawrence.
Lawrence thought her affairs were in order before Hurricane Irma hit. She had insurance on her home and protected it to the best of her ability before evacuating to safety. The storm did significant damage to Lawrence’s roof and one side of her home. The damage was so significant that you could see right into parts of her house from outside.
She had to battle with the insurance company to get funds and ultimately had to pay for a lot of the repairs out of pocket because the insurance would not cover them. Having home insurance and flood insurance did not take care of her needs the way she thought they would.
Luckily, there are people out there trying to help families in need. Lawrence was directed to the Salvation Army so she could finally get her roof repaired after taking care of many of the repairs herself. Martha Dismer, an emergency disaster service case worker who was hired to serve the Golden Isles area through the Salvation Army’s Disaster Long Term Recovery Program, helped Lawrence get her roof fixed.
In her role, Dismer has seen many heartbreaking stories. She told The News stories of families living in homes still in disrepair to the point that wild animals are also living in them. She told stories of families that lived in trailers that were completely lost in the storms. Some who have stayed in houses affected by the storm have dealt with health problems directly related to living in those conditions.
If you are in need of help, we encourage everyone to reach out to the Salvation Army to see what can be done about your situation. Our local Salvation Army does a tremendous job of helping the needy in our community, and it comes as no surprise that they would be spearheading the effort to help get people back in their homes.
If you would like to help out those still in need from the hurricanes, contact Dismer at Martha.Dismer@uss.salvationarmy.org. This community has stepped up time and time again to help when our own was in need. We encourage everyone who can to step up again and help our community finally put Matthew and Irma in the past.