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Hurricane Season: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Atlantic hurricane season occurs every year between June 1 and November 30, the period when 97 percent of all tropical storms and cyclones develop. Many meteorological experts forecast that this year, the number of Atlantic storms will be “near normal” or perhaps even below average. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted that between five to seven hurricanes will form this season: seven is the average.

SBP knows that one hurricane is one disaster too many, especially for vulnerable uninsured or under-insured families who stand to lose their homes. Each year, we meet hurricane season with expertise, readiness, and resolve. Since 2006, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we have been equipping displaced families to shrink the time between disasters and recovery. And we will not stop until the disaster recovery system works equitably, quickly, and effectively for every American, everywhere.

We are proud not only of our work to help communities prepare and recover – and the lasting impact those efforts have made on thousands of lives over 17 years – but also of our innovations and initiatives to reshape the way disaster recovery works in America to ensure that it serves the needs of the most vulnerable individuals and communities.

Hurricane Idalia

On August 30th, Hurricane Idalia made landfall on the Florida coast near Keaton Beach, causing widespread damage to structures and triggering major flooding from Florida to the Carolinas. While the impact was not as severe as anticipated, the damage was still catastrophic for many people who now face a long, unpredictable road to recovery.

Idalia hit 18 years plus a day after Hurricane Katrina, during a week that also marks the anniversaries of several other devastating storms. As SBP responds to Idalia today—and as we look ahead to the challenges of this year’s hurricane season—it’s important to remember and recognize SBP’s response to the major Atlantic hurricanes from the past five years in order to celebrate the tremendous power of SBP’s partners, volunteers, and donors in driving long-term recovery efforts forward across the country. Your support enables us to stand with hurricane survivors when and where they need us most.

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Hurricane Fiona (2022, Category 1, Puerto Rico)

When Fiona hit, SBP had already been working in Puerto Rico since 2018 in response to Hurricane Maria. SBP has rebuilt more homes than any other disaster recovery organization on the island. Our disaster recovery teams continue to work with community leaders, rebuild homes, and identify where our support is most needed. To date in Puerto Rico, SBP has.

  • Returned 235 families home across 14 municipalities.

  • Mobilized more than 2,500 volunteers and 202 AmeriCorps members to support rebuilding efforts.

  • Trained over 20 recovery leaders on building and executing an effective long-term recovery program through SBP’s Leader Practitioner Course.

Hurricane Fiona Quote

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Hurricane Ian (2022, Category 4, Southwest Florida)

SBP has been operating in Florida since Hurricane Michael hit the state in 2018, effectively positioning SBP to launch a comprehensive response to Hurricane Ian in 2022. Here are some of our key achievements.

  • SBP has rebuilt 382 homes in Florida since Hurricane Michael.

  • We launched our SHARE program in the region, empowering local nonprofit partners to rebuild 94 homes.

  • We hosted a Regional Recovery Acceleration Week in DeSoto County and Orange County that shared best practices with elected officials, emergency managers, local leaders, and recovery NGOs to facilitate a prompt, efficient, and predictable recovery.

  • We launched our Disaster Assistance Program, helping 99 survivors (and counting) appeal their FEMA awards and secure over $725K in additional funding.

  • We’ve completed 94 temporary emergency repairs in partnership with the state through its Sheltering in Home For Recovery Continuation (SHRC) program.

Hurricane Ian Quote

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Hurricane Ida (2021, Category 4, Louisiana)

Ida struck “in our backyard,” and our New Orleans team was there to respond within the first 24 hours. SBP is proud to say we’ve made significant progress, shrinking the time between disaster and recovery for residents of Southeast Louisiana. So far, SBP has:

  • Directly rebuilt 117 homes.

  • Enabled our SHARE program partners to build 197 homes with our support.

  • Assisted 164 survivors with their FEMA appeals, securing over $1M in additional recovery funding.

Hurricane Ida Quote

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Hurricane Laura (2020, Category 4, Southwest Louisiana)

SBP established its Southwest Louisiana Recovery Operation to help low-to-moderate-income residents recover and return home as quickly as possible. Today, these programs continue to focus on serving families with small children, the elderly, people living with disabilities, veterans, and the under- and uninsured. Here’s a look at what we’ve accomplished so far in this hard-hit region.

  • SBP has rebuilt 198 homes.

  • We’ve assisted 81 survivors with their FEMA appeals for a total of $285K in additional recovery funding.

  • Our SHARE partners have rebuilt 44 homes with our support.

  • SBP’s Fellows program – established in Lake Charles to help the community build back more resiliently – helped secure $40M in funding for a HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant for a Mid-City Neighborhood Transformation project.

Hurricane Laura Quote

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Hurricane Dorian

In our first international disaster recovery operation, SBP has made an extraordinary impact in the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. SBP has helped communities in the Bahamas recover by:

  • Restoring 625 homes.

  • Rebuilding and funding additional services for the Grand Bahamas Children's Home.

  • Supporting projects to provide communities with access to clean water.

  • Bolstering the local economy by employing local construction vendors and subcontractors.

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