Filipinos help with Florida panhandle recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael

MEXICO BEACH, FL — Almost a week after hurricane Michael hit Florida and neighboring states, residents of the hardest-hit areas in the sunshine state are still struggling to recover.

Some can’t go back to their homes yet because of impassable roads, and others are in desperate need of aid and supplies.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has 14 teams in Florida to help people register for disaster assistance.

The agency also has 17 distribution points throughout Florida and Georgia, where people can get food and water supplies.

Fil-Am Floridians are doing their part to help.

Pinoy business owners and members of community groups are mobilizing relief efforts for the residents of the Florida panhandle, ravaged by Hurricane Michael.

Amy Hunter, owner of the restaurant “I’m Skewed”, and her family prepared and delivered hot meals to the volunteers in evacuation centers, as well as to the displaced residents who took shelter at the northwest Florida college, about 70 miles from Panama City beach.

“We brought up here 40 pieces of dinner plates. We have pork adobo and chicken teriyaki.”

Fil-Am shop owner Rodel Manimtim turned his vape shop into a drop off point for supplies.

“We are getting bunch of trucks together and we will deliver it over to Panama City and affected areas.”

Manimtim also tapped the delivery business of kababayan Ed Pecayo, who owns a cargo trailer company, to deliver the relief goods and supplies.

Aside from business establishments, local media companies and nonprofit organizations in Pensacola launched “Operation: Help Our Neighbor” — which was supported by a number of Filipinos.

Cheryl Bush, who personally experienced the wrath brought by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, said she knows how tough it is now for affected residents.

“But thankfully we had people sending us food, sending us care packages, so we were set, we have a lot of people helping us out.”

Although most of our kababayans will not be able to go to the hurricane-stricken areas, they hope that their small acts of random kindness will make a big difference in the lives of the victims.

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