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Survey shows many Floridians unaware of Hurricane Michael aftermath

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Posted at 11:46 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 08:51:27-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A new survey finds that more than two in five Floridians mistakenly think life has gone back to normal after Hurricane Micheal tore through the Panhandle last October.

According to a Rebuild 850 survey, several Floridians are unaware that damage still remains in the Panhandle and many are unwilling to help neighbors in need. The survey polled 1,000 Floridians to gauge statewide awareness of the storm and its continued effects.

Results revealed that more than one in four Floridians think homelessness and unemployment are no longer issues following the storm, and more than three in four believe that mental health, food insecurity, and the threat of wildfires are no longer concerns. Not only did the survey show that many Floridians are still unaware of key details about the storm, but three out of four respondents said they would not consider donating money to help.

“These Panhandle residents need the support of our entire state,” Allan Bense, co-chair and former Speaker of the House, said. “These communities are suffering. We’re all Floridians, and we need to come together. We are urging all Floridians to lend a hand to our most vulnerable citizens.”

Only one in five of those surveyed said that they would donate time or consider visiting. Nearly half of people said they would do absolutely nothing to help, and fewer than one-third reported that they had already donated time or money, according to survey results.

Officials say thousands of Panhandle residents are still struggling with homelessness, unemployment, and mental health issues.

“While we’re thankful for the federal and state funding the Panhandle relief and coverage effort has received, we need to come together as Floridians to do even more,” Will Weatherford, co-chair and House Speaker in 2012-2014 said. “This was the second most powerful storm to ever hit the mainland United States, and it will continue to take more time and money to recover and rebuild.”

For more information on the survey, visit Rebuild850.org.