VRS283 – The Aftermath of Hurricane Michael

2018 gave North America more than its fair share of disasters with flooding, wildfires and deathly tornadoes. But none of these were more devastating to PR company owner, April Salter, than Hurricane Michael. Now designated a Category 5 hurricane and one of the worst storms to ever hit mainland USA, Michael barrelled ashore on Mexico Beach on October 11th, 2018, and the old Florida town, and along with it, April’s beachfront vacation rental, took a direct hit.

April and her husband were in Rome on vacation after spending a few days in Como at the Vacation Rental World Summit, when they first heard of the impending storm, and it soon became apparent they would have to cut it short and return home.

The damage to their beloved town was unimaginable. All that remained of the beachfront home was the concrete slab, and although it first seemed the six condos they owned were relatively unharmed, they were later found to have significant water damage.

In this episode, April shares the journey she has taken over the last 6 months to help in the recovery of the town where so many homes and businesses were destroyed. She talks about the insights she’s had into how insurance companies operate and why it’s so important to read the small print. And she describes her thoughts for the future of this once thriving community and her optimism for its recovery.

While April’s focus was on the recovery efforts, she put her work with AVROA on hold. Now, she’s ready to shift gears and move forward with the Association and bring attention back to its goals and mandate. We talk about the work that needs doing to grow the AVROA membership and the benefits that members can enjoy.

Recovery efforts continue in Mexico Beach and will do so for several years. Funds are still desperately needed to support volunteer efforts. The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association is accepting donations and you can designate which projects you’d like to support including Roads and Landscaping, Arts and Culture, The Pier, and Dune Walkovers, among others. Every donation will help to rebuild this beautiful town and bring back the tourists this summer.

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