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Hurricane Irma

“Job No. 1 for the FCC [Federal Communication Commission] is public safety,” were FCC Commissioner  Mignon Clyburn’s opening remarks from the podium at the Miami-Dade Emergency Management Center.

Commissioner Clyburn joined FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Monday for a meeting with South Florida public safety officials and broadcasters to discuss the importance of  first responders and the public during storms and other emergencies.

Arnetta Gordon is a Miami-Dade public school teacher.  After leaving Miami to escape Hurricane Irma with her husband and four children, she returned to her Liberty City home which like thousands of others had no electricity.  Gordon has a 9-month old infant who she breastfeeds.

She wrote WLRN about the challenges of breastfeeding with no power:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is offering assistance to communities affected by Hurricane Irma.


Irma Insurance Claims Already Near $2 Billion

Sep 19, 2017
Kev Cook / Flickr

With 335,000 insurance claims representing $1.9 billion in property losses, Hurricane Irma already has exceeded the claims and losses from the two hurricanes that pummeled Florida last year, the state Office of Insurance Regulation reported Monday.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

Resiliency is defined as the ability to recover from difficulties.

And when it comes to a life-changing event like Hurricane Irma, there are two different kinds of resiliency: an individual’s ability to bounce back and “community resiliency.”

Salvation Army

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Irma.

Yet many smaller communities in Florida’s rural counties are still suffering and need basic resources, according to a disaster relief expert with the Salvation Army.

With restoration continuing this week after Hurricane Irma, Florida Department of Health officials are warning residents about standing water left by the storm as a thriving environment for mosquitoes.

Containers like garden pots, birdbaths, tires and cans, when filled with standing water, can host mosquitoes laying up to 200 eggs.

Tampa Bay Area Students Included In Free School Lunches After Irma

Sep 18, 2017
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved allowing free school lunches for all students in 48 counties that took the brunt of Hurricane Irma, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Monday.

The first 911 call from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills didn't sound ominous: A nursing home patient had an abnormal heartbeat.

Florida’s nursing home industry will hold a summit Friday in Tallahassee to discuss Gov. Rick Scott’s emergency rule requiring increased generator capacity to help nursing homes in a disaster, according to the Miami Herald.

Growing up in Miami, Luis Gazitúa lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 – one of the most destructive storms ever to hit South Florida. That’s why the Coconut Grove attorney recognized the awful danger of Hurricane Irma.

Irma was even bigger and stronger than Andrew. So when early forecast models this month showed it heading straight for Miami, Gazitúa and his family decided to evacuate South Florida.

“We had actually booked rooms in Orlando,” Gazitúa says at his law office in Coral Gables. “My father, my brother, our children and our wives and my mother.”

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials.

Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system.

As Hurricane Irma bore down on South Florida, Kevin Youngman and his family sought shelter at Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston. There, he found himself in enemy territory.

“I think it’s weird for us because we all went to the rival middle school, Tequesta Trace,” said Youngman, 25, as he relaxed on an air mattress in the school gym.

Gov. Scott Signs Insurance Emergency Order After Irma

Sep 18, 2017

Florida homeowners have more time to update their insurance policies. Governor Rick Scott signed an emergency order to help homeowners in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The order provides home owner’s insurance policy holders an additional 90 days to supply required information to their insurance companies.

Florida’s Former Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller said the order helps residents that may have been displaced from Hurricane Irma to update information and prevent policies from canceling.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Thousands of Florida residents are being urged to evacuate a week after Hurricane Irma's rains are overflowing the Withlacoochee River.

Associated Press

After a painful flight across several states to escape unpredictable Hurricane Irma, Suzanne Pallot says it's unlikely she would evacuate South Florida again — an attitude echoed by other evacuees that experts say could put them in danger when the next storm hits.

Katie and Joe / Flickr

Dozens of law enforcement officers attended the funeral of a deputy killed in a head-on collision on the way home from work as Hurricane Irma began.

Several former Florida athletes are using their platform to help Hurricane Irma victims.

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.

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