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Securing Homes Against Future Storms

The powerful winds of Hurricane Ida struck Ms. Jeanette's home, causing significant damage as sections of the roof tore off, allowing water to infiltrate the structure and destroy the home from the inside out. This resulted in damaged plumbing, unsafe electrical, and ruined insulation, drywall, flooring, doors, and roof. Ms. Jeanette was recovering from surgery when she was forced to evacuate for Hurricane Ida, leaving her hometown of Houma, LA, to find shelter with family in Lafayette, LA. Ms. J did not have flood insurance nor homeowners insurance, despite that she lived in a 100-year flood plain. Living on a disability income left her with little savings to afford basic necessities, let alone insurance. In the wake of the hurricane, her ability to cover the repair cost was also limited. While she applied to FEMA and received a small amount of financial assistance, it was nowhere near enough to cover the nearly $66,000 it would take to make her home livable again.

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The home held great sentimental value and had been a source of pride for her family for years, as it was originally her grandmother's and passed down through generations. In 2001, Ms. Jeanette inherited the home from her aunt, whom she had been caring for in her later years. After the storm's devastating impact, Ms. Jeanette and her husband Gerald were at a loss for how to proceed in their recovery. Ms. Jeanette felt overwhelmed, but her two daughters, who grew up in the house, stepped up and offered to take care of their family and provide assistance in navigating the rebuilding process. With the support of their neighbors and friends, the Bradfords gutted the kitchen, living room, and bedroom to preserve the special memories and joy the home had always brought them. Amid all the mayhem, Ms. Jeanette learned about SBP and reached out for support in her recovery.

In partnership with Travelers and a team of dedicated volunteers, SBP is honored to assist the Bradford family in not only rebuilding their home but rebuilding it to a higher standard of resilience so it can be better secured against future storms. The scope of work includes an IBHS-FORTIFIED roof, which is specifically designed to prevent damage that commonly occurs during high winds, hurricanes, hailstorms, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes. This will help to provide her family savings by avoiding future damage and lowering monthly insurance costs. Furthermore, SBP restored damaged rooms, electrical, plumbing, gas, insulation, and flooring, while also installing new durable PVC cabinets. Unlike wooden or laminate cabinets, PVC cabinets are termite-resistant, low in flammability, and environmentally friendly. Moreover, by using waterproof materials like PVC cabinets, SBP is reducing future costs to homeowners in the event of repetitive flooding and reducing environmental impact by preventing additional debris from ending up in a landfill. In the event of flooding, up to and including full immersion, the non-porous nature of PVC cabinets will prevent major damage and mold growth, requiring only a wipe-down and ventilation to get them back to working condition. The outcome of this effort will alleviate the financial pressure on the Bradford family, preserve their home’s integrity, and ensure they continue to create cherished memories with the house for years to come.

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When asked about how it feels to return to a more resilient home, Ms. Bradford answered, “I think y’all are doing a wonderful job. You answered every call and called back when you didn’t answer. When a big blessing like this comes around, I appreciate it so much."

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