Amid the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which tore through southwestern Florida, mold in homes is now a huge concern. Baseboards are swollen, and mold is visible throughout homes.

Source: CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube

Mold can be detrimental to a home and can cause serious health issues. Last year, after finally acknowledging mold as a problem, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expanded its disaster aid to cover mold growth. It had paid $142.9 million to 95,000 households before Hurricanes Fiona and Ian struck recently.

It is important to act immediately on mold. Mold can take as little as 24 hours to begin to grow, and by hour 72, it can be too late, The New York Times reported.

After Hurricane Andrew, Florida adopted strict building codes, including things like windows that can withstand hurricane winds. Unfortunately, many older homes in certain areas are not equipped to handle a storm like that.

Low-income people and people of color are often disproportionately affected by this. Studies have found that these groups are more likely to live in poor-quality homes, which increases the likelihood of suffering the effects of mold. Treating mold can be expensive, and mold is typically not covered by standard homeowners’ insurers.

How You Can Donate and Help:

A woman-led nonprofit Taller Salud is coordinating hurricane relief efforts and accepting donations from anything from nonperishable food, adult and baby diapers, gallons of water, toiletries, and more.

Nonprofit Global Giving has launched the “Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund,” and they aim to raise $1 million to help residents.

Puerto Rican mutual-aid group is asking for donations to get essentials for residents, like first-aid kits, water filters, solar lamps, and water purification tablets.

Nonprofit Hispanic Federation is on the ground in Puerto Rico, giving emergency relief services and essential supplies.

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