The Windstorm Insurance Network, its members, officers, and board members deserve a huge shout-out. The WIND website lists donations to those suffering from disasters for almost 20 years. The most recent donation is for the tragic Maui wildfires:
In early August 2023, a series of wildfires broke out in Hawaii, predominantly on the island of Maui. The wind-driven fires, fanned by wind gusts topping 60 mph, prompted evacuations, and caused widespread damage, killing at least 115 people, leaving 388 others missing, destroying more than 2,000 structures in the town of Lahaina.
WIND made a contribution of $20,000 to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund, and $5,000 to the Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation’s Fire Relief Fund.
Last December, the Windstorm Insurance Network made the following $60,000 donation:
In September 2022, Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, made landfall on Florida’s west coast, and then slowly moved across the Florida peninsula, hammering the state with heavy rains and powerful winds, causing catastrophic flooding and power outages. Barrier islands were disconnected from the mainland when the Sanibel Causeway was destroyed. Ian was Florida’s deadliest hurricane since 1935 and could also be the costliest in terms of property damage.
In November 2022, Hurricane Nicole devastated parts of Florida’s east coast and caused severe beach erosion. The rare November storm caused significant flooding in central Florida.
WIND provided $20,000 each to Rebuilding Together, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and Harry Chapin Food Bank, with funds earmarked to support hurricane relief efforts.
I am very proud to have served as President of WIND. Following the 2011 devastating and deadly tornados striking Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I noted the following in Tuscaloosa Tornados Cause Catastrophic Damage:
I saw the most beautiful and most tragic sights from the air yesterday. The space shuttle was clearly visible, like a flying yellow fire torch, above the clouds in the bright morning blue sky. As it came through the cloud cover, Endeavor was an inspiring sight.
The path of Tuscaloosa’s F5 tornado was also clearly seen from the air and awe inspiring. The magnitude of catastrophic damage viewed from the ground is hard to describe.
Mary Fortson and I accompanied the Windstorm Insurance Network‘s Executive Director, Michelle Griffin, to Tuscaloosa yesterday. The Windstorm Network gave much needed donations to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. Both are stationed in temporary quarters because their permanent locations were damaged by the tornados.
At the Red Cross operation headquarters, I was shown a Tuscaloosa County map showing the path and breath of each tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa. The F5 was more than a mile wide as it left Tuscaloosa headed for Birmingham. Red Cross officials told us they were lucky to have closed their previous Red Cross office shortly before the F5 hit.
Tuscaloosa tornado damage eerily reminds me of the worst damage from Hurricanes Charlie, Ivan, Katrina and Ike. Hurricanes typically give people some opportunity to evacuate. Tornadoes do not. I cannot imagine the terror felt by those who faced the F5.
Tuscaloosa joins the list of blue tarp towns; tarps now cover hundreds of roofs throughout the city to mitigate further damage. They will remain for months until repaired.
I encourage readers of this blog to review the extensive list of donations made over the past twenty years. If you are in the claims adjustment business, I highly recommend joining the Windstorm Insurance Network. The 2024 Windstorm Conference is scheduled for January 29 to February 1, 2024, at the Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld. You can find more details here. For professionals involved in windstorm and hurricane claims, this annual event is a must-attend.
Here is a link for membership: https://windnetwork.com/membership/
Thought For A Post Labor Day Afternoon
The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.