February 2019 - Forrest Marbutt - FSI recently participated in a disaster relief cleanup effort in Panama City from damage caused by Hurricane Michael this past October. We did this together with First Baptist Church of Fairburn (https://fbcfairburn.com/), First Baptist Church of Panama City (https://firstbaptistpc.com/) and Samaritan’s Purse (https://www.samaritanspurse.org/).
Hurricane Michael struck the Florida panhandle as a category 4 storm with sustained winds at 155 mph that resulted in 72 fatalities and $ 25 billion worth of damage (for more information about the hurricane, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Michael). Also, for reference sake, category 5 hurricanes are 157+ mph. Panama City was one of the hardest hit areas. Most of us in the southeast are familiar with Panama City Beach, but Panama City is a different area down the road that is more residential. While this event occurred 4 months ago, there is still an incredible amount of widespread damage all across the southeast.
During our time there, we cut up downed trees, cleaned up a ton of debris, did some sheet rocking and helped with some mold removal. For our fulfillment fans at home, don’t worry, your pick/pack/ship orders still left on time, and your kit packing projects still went out on schedule. We have a great capable crew who is able to make sure the show still goes on.
The amount of cleanup that is needed now, and will be for years to come, is overwhelming. We enjoyed getting to interact with the people of the community and hear their stories. Some feel forgotten. We’re just glad that we could take time out from our normal lives to help those whose lives are anything but normal these days. It does help put into perspective how insignificant our problems can seem sometimes compared to those affected by tragedies such as this.
Feel left out? Wanted to do your part but we left without you? Stay tuned, maybe there will be another trip in the future that you can join in on. Or feel free to make a financial donation to any of the following. Every little bit helps!