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Wrecked Pier Sunset

Lee County, City of Fort Myers, City of Sanibel (Florida)

Florida Resort Areas Recover from Hurricanes

An unprecedented four hurricanes ravaged Florida in 2004—Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne, Ivan, and Frances. Adjusters International was contracted for disaster recovery consulting in August 2004 to assist Lee County, in addition to two of its component cities, Sanibel and Ft. Myers.


The series of storms damaged more than 400 buildings across the county, with net losses of $40 million and an additional $20 million in debris costs. The job was large and complex, and Adjusters International developed and implemented a cohesive grant-management process for recovery from all four hurricanes.

This strategy has integrated the overlapping layers of federal disaster relief allowing systematic funding for recovery from private insurance, FHWA and NRCS; AI has the expertise to integrate and manage the grants from all such funding sources.

Major projects include the Sanibel Causeway, which was eligible for funding from multiple resources. Projects of a smaller scope include funding from FEMA to remove non-native (and as such, non-hurricane resistant) Australian Pine trees from Sanibel. The 70-foot-tall trees snapped under hurricane-force winds with the potential to cause serious damage.


Hurricane Wilma, 2005

When Wilma came in 2005, AI was asked to continue its operations in the storm-struck Lee County and the cities of Ft. Myers and Sanibel, immediately beginning debris removal operations with a $10 million FEMA grant. The expedited grant was issued by FEMA without pause because of the county’s demonstrated sound management of the FEMA Public Assistance Program in 2004.

Particular to a territory hit repeatedly by disasters, Adjusters International worked to secure funding for territories hit by both Charley (2004) and Wilma (2005), and these areas were fully eligible for FEMA grants.