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Hurricane Irma

When the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills submitted its 43-page emergency management plan to county administrators in July, it included details on how the home would maintain clean linen, distribute canned food and ensure residents had access to hand sanitizers.

It made no mention of how residents would be kept cool if the home’s power was lost.

That was a tragic oversight: On Wednesday, health regulators said, eight residents of the rehabilitation center succumbed to cardiac and respiratory failure after a portable air cooling system malfunctioned.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Hurricane Irma has passed, and some Floridians impacted by the storm have to rebuild – not only their homes, but their lives.

When a natural disaster as unpredictable as Irma hits, the main concern is getting people to a safe place and making sure they have enough resources to manage through the storm. However, once the immediate danger has passed, the next step is to recover and move forward.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says the government response to Hurricane Irma has shifted from saving lives to one of beginning the long recovery process.

Long said at a briefing Friday that good progress is being made in getting people back into their homes or into temporary housing such as apartments or hotels. About 10,000 people in Florida remain in emergency shelters.

No, that Facebook post telling you to take a picture of your empty fridge and send it along a form is not correct. Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) denied that it will reimburse Florida residents for food spoiled as result of power outages caused by Hurricane Irma. 

The power outages that followed hurricanes Harvey and Irma are unfortunately a common reality with powerful storms, just as is the fact that the affected people need to eat.

Hurricane diets can consist of a lot of processed, prepackaged food, but with a bit of imagination or preparation, hot meals are possible.

After Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Tara Gatscher and her family returned to their house in Tampa Bay to find that while the house didn't have any terrible damage, they didn't have power.

North Tampa Branch Library, HCPLC.org

Hillsborough County Libraries are providing assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Irma. 

Pasco Sheriff's Department via Facebook

After Hurricane Irma ravaged parts of Florida and left others with minor clean up, neighbors are helping neighbors with food and other supplies.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Even though Hurricane Irma is well behind us, many neighborhoods remain several feet underwater - including one along the Alafia River near Lithia.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

As if loss of air conditioning and refrigeration weren't bad enough, widespread power outages in hurricane-battered Florida are teaming with structural failures to cause another headache: sewage overflows.

Local governments have submitted well over 100 "notices of pollution" to the state Department of Environmental Protection since Hurricane Irma struck, some involving multiple spills and releases of millions of gallons of wastewater in various stages of treatment.

Hillsborough County Aging Services

Hillsborough County senior citizens stuck without power and looking for a cool place to go have some options Friday and next week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Administrator was at the Lee County Emergency Operations Center Wednesday. 


Hurricane Irma’s state-engulfing radar signature and widespread damage will be a hard image to shake, but tourism experts say Florida’s biggest industry will rebound.

Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has reportedly killed five Floridians in the wake of Irma. Here are some ways to prevent exposure to the potentially deadly gas.

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Texas may be impacting Irma victims in Florida trying to register for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Dozens Of Nursing Homes Still Lack Power

Sep 15, 2017

Dozens of nursing homes continued Thursday to lack electricity or had been evacuated because of Hurricane Irma, as the state grappled with the deaths of eight residents of a Broward County facility that did not have air conditioning.

It’s the middle of the day in Deland, a city between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Temperatures today are in the 90s.

For the millions of people who are still without power across Florida, heat illness can be a concern.  

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The tragic deaths of eight nursing home residents after Irma knocked out their air conditioning has prompted the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs to offer up available beds at federal VA Community Living Centers.

Making Your Water Safe After Irma

Sep 14, 2017
Florida Department of Health, FloridaHealth.gov

Several Florida counties - and some Tampa Bay area communities - remain under boil water notices after Hurricane Irma. The Florida Department of Health has tips for people living in those places.

Highlands County Sheriff's Office

Nearly every part of Florida was affected by Hurricane Irma, including rural Highlands County, where more than 80 percent of the roughly 100,000 residents on Thursday remained without power and a curfew remains in effect.

Jackson Cardarelli / WUSF Public Media

Days after Hurricane Irma hit Florida, 24 public shelters still remain open across six counties in the Tampa Bay area.

Fifteen of the open facilities are special-needs assistance shelters.

A 7-year-old Polk County girl died Wednesday from carbon-monoxide poisoning at a home with a generator running inside after Hurricane Irma, authorities said.

Eight patients at a sweltering nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida's 4 million senior citizens amid power outages that could last for days.

The Internal Revenue Service is extending deadlines for taxpayers in 21 Florida counties affected by Hurricane Irma, including Palm Beach County.

Taxpayers now have until Jan. 31 to file some individual and business tax returns and to make certain payments, the IRS said.

 

For instance, the IRS is giving taxpayers extra time to make quarterly estimated payments for 2017 normally due Sept. 15 and Jan. 16.  

Meanwhile, taxpayers who filed extensions until Sept. 15 or Oct. 16 have until Jan. 31 to file their 2016 returns.

Days after Hurricane Irma battered South Florida, Rufus James walked through his Liberty City neighborhood in Miami looking for paid work to chop down trees and clean up yards.

Like many Floridians, James, 57, was going on day four with no electricity. At home, he had three grandchildren to feed. They’re eating “cornflakes and whatever we can come up with. I’m looking for some food,” he said.

Before the storm, James said he worked odd jobs — helping elderly neighbors mow their lawns or move heavy items. Post storm, no one was paying for help yet.

Ebyabe (Wikimedia Commons)

Like most of the Tampa Bay Area, Sarasota County is focused on restoring power to the thousands of residents who lost it during Hurricane Irma. But something else has emergency officials' attention -- flooding of the Myakka River.

Huge waves crashed down on this tropical paradise, pounding the white sands of Summerland Key with brute fury. Then came bomb-blast winds as Hurricane Irma slammed ashore.

Justin Doyle / Flickr

In a state built on air conditioning, millions of Florida residents now want to know: When will the power come back on?

disasterassistance.gov

Hurricane Irma victims in the Tampa Bay area may be able to get some extra help from the federal government.

Sarasota County Government Facebook

All of Sarasota's emergency shelters have been closed down after Hurricane Irma except one.

The county's Chief of Emergency Management Ed McCrane says as of Monday afternoon, there were about 30 residents with special needs still staying in one shelter.

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