Recovery group to help hurricane victims

OKEECHOBEE — Hurricane Irma left a swath of destruction in its wake, and many area residents are still struggling to recover. These people include the uninsured, the underinsured and those who did not qualify for help from FEMA. According to FEMA, the estimated need in Okeechobee County is $889,000. That includes 1,226 homeowners and 181 renters.

At the Jan. 11 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission, information was presented regarding the establishment of a long-term recovery group. This group will address the unmet needs of the residents living in Okeechobee County after Hurricane Irma. A long-term recovery group (LTRG) is a cooperative body that is formed after a disaster.

An LTRG is made up of representatives from the community to assist as people recover from Hurricane Irma when they are not eligible for any other FEMA assistance.

The purpose of the LTRG is to match disaster-related needs with resources to help families recover from disaster.

They are seeking participation from all sectors of the community, including (but not limited to):

• Faith-based organizations;
• Churches;
• Local social service organizations;
• Non-profit organizations;
• Businesses;
• City and county government leadership and employees;
• Civic organizations;
• Individuals;
• And more.

The first meeting will be to get informed and start the process for establishing an LTRG in Okeechobee County.

The meeting is set for Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Okeechobee County Emergency Operations Center, 707 N.W. Sixth St.

Officials hope many people will attend this informative and beneficial meeting. Many in this community still need help.

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