In early September 2017, Hurricane Irma powered through the Caribbean and Florida, leaving a trail of destruction and causing upward of $65 billion in damage. The storm caused widespread flooding along Florida’s west coast and significant damage from the Keys through Georgia. Virtually every home in the Florida Keys was affected by Irma, with nearly a quarter of the residences destroyed.
Irma also skirted the northeastern side of Puerto Rico as a category 5 hurricane, downing powerlines and causing flooding on the island. Just two weeks later, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm and became the worst natural disaster in the island’s history. Maria caused $90 billion in damage in Puerto Rico alone, and resulted in the longest blackout in US history – it took 328 days for power to be restored to all neighborhoods on the island.
One year later, communities affected by these record-breaking storms are still struggling to recover. To mark the one-year anniversary of the storms, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), with generous support from The UPS Foundation, is hosted webinar, “Hurricanes Irma and Maria: State of Recovery.”
Speakers provided updates on recovery in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and discussed what the unmet needs are. CDP President and CEO Robert G. Ottenhoff moderated the discussion, and panelists included:
- Brennan Banks, Operations Manager, Hurricane Irma, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- Dee Baecher-Brown, President, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
- Denise Morgan Gilliam, Philanthropic Advisor, FEMA Interagency Recovery Coordination
- Regine A. Webster, Vice President, Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Please see the slide deck and watch the webinar recording to learn more about the state of recovery in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean: