Hurricane Dorian is being reported as one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever observed. It’s a catastrophic storm and expected to hit our coastal communities this week. Life-threatening storm surges could devastate homes still in desperate need of help. Homes like the one owned by Ethel, a disabled elderly woman living in Brunswick, GA. Inspiritus met Ethel last year, when our long-term disaster recovery teams were helping those in the area with home repairs. Ethel is an elderly, domestic violence survivor who was thrilled to move into her own home back in 2017.
“It was like God gave me a gift I was praying for...it was heaven,” says Ethel.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma descended upon her home and destroyed her roof. As a result, she was forced to live outside on to her porch. “I’ve been without water for almost a year. I was drinking off the roof with buckets on the side to take a bath and wash my dishes...” My lights got cut off too, and I knew I couldn’t afford to pay it, so I took that barrel there and that wood and chopped it up, and I cooked my food. I did it in order to survive.” says Ethel
Following Hurricane Irma, Ethel’s home quickly became infected with mold and mildew. Poor living-conditions made her sick with pneumonia, as well as, another mold-related lung infection.
“I’m not able to work, I can’t even go to the doctor. I got really sick, between the mildew in this house and the drinking the water I got...I had another bucket, a tin tub, to get water to drink, I know that made me sick, too, but I had to live. That was my life. I’m living the best way I can. God help me.” says Ethel.
Inspiritus repaired Ethel’s roof, but there’s still so much more to be done to make her home liveable. "If it wasn’t for Inspiritus, I would still be in this situation. ” says Ethel.
Ethel’s home may not be able to withstand more damage from another hurricane. Brunswick is located on a harbor of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 40 mi (60 km) north of Florida and 80 mi (130 km) south of South Carolina. This makes it right in Hurricane Dorian’s projected path. As of Labor Day, mandatory evacuations were put into effect for Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
Inspiritus needs donations to help us respond to this latest disaster. Donate here to Inspiritus’ disaster recovery work today to provide support and give hope to these vulnerable communities desperately in need of our help. Select disaster response to direct your funds specifically to our disaster.
Our prayers are with Ethel and everyone in the path of Hurricane Dorian.