Guest blog post by 2023-2024 National Auxiliary Emergency Fund Committee Chair Jeanne Haas
It is hard to imagine returning to your home filled with mud, water, and debris. You stand there looking at the devastation without water or electricity and not having any idea on where to start the next chapter of clean-up and rebuild. Unfortunately, this is realism for many in the southeast part of our country after Hurricane Idalia impacted Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
In the height of the hurricane season — which extends from June 1 to Nov. 30 — on the East Coast and Gulf area, meteorologists are forecasting three to five major hurricanes this year. Residents can prepare by decluttering their property, strengthening their homes and businesses with boards and hurricane shutters, stocking up on supplies of batteries and flashlights, water, food, and medicine, and having a fully charged cell phone — but with winds 74 to over 155 mph and torrid rainfall destruction is inevitable. In 2022, destruction totaled $118.286 billion. The 2023 hurricane season is gearing up for a similar season of destruction.
For American Legion Auxiliary members who have been a member for three or more consecutive years, the Auxiliary Emergency Fund has a grant for those who had damage to their primary residence and/or have been displaced or evacuated and have out of pocket expenses for food, clothing, or lodging. Natural disaster grant applications, which can be found online, must be received within six months of the disaster. As of Oct. 1, 2023, grants can be awarded for up to $3,000 per grant.
Members and friends can help by making sure this fund is financially supported. Donations can be made online. After you have designated the amount you wish to donate, use the dropdown box to select “Auxiliary Emergency Fund” under the select a fund.