Ensuring children feel safe while a parent is out saving others
NATURAL DISASTER RESPONSE
When natural disasters strike, they leave a wake of devastation that tests the resilience of communities and sometimes the very fabric of our society. Amidst the chaos, it’s easy to forget that the courageous first responders who rush to the scene—and their families—are also affected. First responders leave their families for extended periods of time to help others in need.
Helping address disaster-specific challenges
As these heroes work selflessly around the clock to save lives and restore order, we step in to provide support to help their families get back on their feet. Our Natural Disaster Response Grant offers immediate financial assistance to first responder families impacted by the very hurricane, tornado, flood, wildfire or other natural disaster affecting the community in which they live. The grant covers critical expenses, such as home repairs, childcare assistance and a range of other disaster-related costs adversely affecting first responder families.
Assistance through this grant helps them rebuild not only their homes but also their lives. The goal is to ensure that their children have a safe and secure environment amidst the chaos. We help families support their heroes as they rebuild the very communities they call home. We also provide supplies to agencies who are often directly impacted by these disasters.
Hurricane Ian struck southwest Florida on September 28, 2022, causing significant damage and loss. Lee County, which includes Fort Myers and Cape Coral, was hit hard, along with Lee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties. Homes, businesses and infrastructure were destroyed, and the storm claimed the lives of at least 119 people, with an estimated preliminary damage cost of $67 billion. Amid the devastation, first responders worked tirelessly to assist communities in need. These brave individuals put their own challenges aside to help others, despite experiencing personal losses themselves.
Recognizing their dedication, we quickly mobilized to launch our Natural Disaster Response Grant. Because of our strategic partnership with storm damage restoration company SERVPRO, FRCF was able to provide emergency grants to 81 families in the region and home restoration services for 12 additional first responder families impacted. This represented nearly a quarter of the first responder families affected by the storm.
As the incidence of natural disasters is likely to only increase, this will become an even more important grant to support first responder families in the future.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno expressed gratitude for the assistance provided by FRCF and SERVPRO, acknowledging the support given to first responders who continue to serve despite their own difficulties.
“First responders on the ground are working around the clock in response to Hurricane Ian. These same first responders have also experienced loss, yet they continue to assist the great residents of Lee County. We are grateful for the Emergency Disaster Grants that First Responders Children’s Foundation and SERVPRO are providing to our first responders.”
—Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno