Hi. I'm Amanda, and I'm 32. My three children, my wife, my mother, and I lost our home because Hurricane Michael partially tore our roof off. My mother, my wife, and I are each disabled. FEMA processed our initial application quickly, and the funds that were approved went for housing, replacement of clothing and other essentials, debris removal, and tarping of the master bedroom roof. However, what we were allotted was nowhere near enough. We are very low income and there was not enough insurance on my mother's house where we all lived. We were denied a SBA loan because of inability to repay. Just to replace the roof over that bedroom, we were quoted $7,000 after materials and labor. That is just the bare minimum. This does not include the hallway, which sustained electrical and structural damage, or the bathroom that also sustained electrical damage. For ALL repairs, the quote was around $50,000. While there are some repairs that we're, ultimately, unconcerned about, such as kitchen cabinetry, we do need the hallway, bathroom, and master bedroom repaired. We figure that is going to cost about $15,000-$25,000 to fix the things that are absolutely necessary. We were allotted $3,600 for household repair. We also were not given enough enough to replace vital household items such as kitchen appliances, beds, and living room furniture. We were given approximately $2,800 for our personal property. All of those funds were used to replace bedding, clothes, and kitchenware as we ended up having to move elsewhere. The lowest quote I was given for appliances and furniture was $11,000. FEMA has denied our appeal, and I am currently trying to figure out how to possibly take them to court. There was no insurance, and FEMA blatantly lied on one of the decision letters. Each household is eligible for up to $34,000. FEMA said that the measly amount we were approved for was the maximum.
We have no money to pay for repairs on our own, and we can't do the work ourselves due to our disabilities. It's getting to the point where my mother is more despondent than I have ever seen her, and she's considering trying to live in the damaged home. I'm really at a loss as to what to say to stop her. It's her home; I don't blame her for feeling depressed about the way things are going.
All of this grappling from the storm came on top of us losing a family member to suicide. One of my sisters chose to end her life, and was found three days before the storm hit. I'm seriously struggling with the aftermath of the storm and with the loss of my sister. I need help. We all need help, but there is no help to be found. All of us in the Florida Panhandle feel as though we've been forgotten. We have no where to turn at all. We have no source of funding for repairs. We're honestly ready to give up.