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Lake County organization offers residents a way to strengthen their homes against hurricanes

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FEMA

Lake Support and Emergency Recovery, Inc. (LASER) announced it is offering residents in the Mount Dora area the opportunity to strengthen their home ahead of a hurricane. The organization is able to assist select homeowners with roof replacements, secondary water barriers, gable end bracing, or shutters.

The organization is Lake County's long-term recovery organization and began operations in 2005. According to the organization's Facebook post, to apply for a grant, you must meet these qualifications:

  • Age 30-63
  • Under-insured/Un-insured
  • Must own the home with no liens on the home
  • Financial Hardship: recently unemployed and actively looking or ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed)
  • Individual with no small children preferred
  • Home not in CRA district
  • Home not in NE CRA district
  • Home not covered under USDA boundaries for funding

LASER works with the Florida Division of Emergency Management's Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program to strengthen homes. According to a publication by the Division, strengthening water barriers, roof-to-wall anchorings, gable ends, window openings and doorways can help mitigate the expense and speed of recovery after a disaster. Though home reinforcement is not a reason to disregard an evacuation order, reducing the possibility for damage will make it more likely that one's home will be ready to return to after a storm.

This year, the Florida Legislature re-enacted the My Safe Florida Home Program. When launched, the program will be able to provide free home inspections to Florida homeowners to help identify areas of improvements for mitigating hurricane damage. Eligible homeowners may be able to apply for a grant to implement those changes. Until the program launches, Floridians can take advantage of another hurricane preparedness incentive. Beginning this month through June 2024, impact-resistant doors and impact-resistant windows are exempt of sales tax.