Storms strike SW Fla.: Realtors help during disaster
MANATEE, SARASOTA COUNTIES, Fla. – Jan. 18, 2016 – Two tornadoes – one an EF2 – touched down in Southwest Florida early Sunday morning during a severe storm system, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses in Manatee and Sarasota counties. At least 100,000 Florida homeowners lost power. Two people in Manatee County were killed during the storms, and four children were hospitalized. In Siesta Key, winds reportedly reached 70 mph, according to Weather Channel reports.
"Unfortunately, Floridians understand that disasters can strike at any time, and our hearts go out to the Realtors, homeowners and others impacted by this devastating storm system," says Matey Veissi, 2016 Florida Realtors® president. "We want our Southwest Florida members to know that we're ready to help, and Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) was created for emergencies such as this one. Please let us know what we can do."
According to Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and former Floridian, the state faces an increased chance of severe storms and tornadoes over the next few months thanks to a strong El Nino pattern of warm water in the pacific. He told The Orlando Sentinel that the last time Florida faced a winter with an El Nino this strong, dozens of people died from tornados over the usually dry winter months.
Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund
"Realtors help Realtors," says Veissi when asked about the disaster fund. "It's as simple as that. Our generous members contribute to Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund because they have good hearts and understand that we're a team. We work together to sell homes, and we support each other when disaster strikes."
Veissi encourages any member or association impacted by the Southwest Florida storms to apply for Disaster Relief Fund aid. To qualify, Realtors and others should start by filling out an official Disaster Relief Fund Application for Assistance, which can be found on Florida Realtors' website.
"Many Realtors outside Southwest Florida wish to help, and donations to the Disaster Relief Fund are also gratefully accepted," adds Veissi.
Anyone may donate to Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund by credit card online through a secure connection. The tax-deductible donation may also be mailed in with a check payable to "Florida Realtors Disaster Fund, attention Dave Garrison" mailed to: Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund, PO Box 725025. Orlando, FL 32782-5025.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®
© 2016 Florida Realtors®