More than 100 people lost their lives due to Hurricane Ian, according to the latest estimates. The storm also leveled devastating blows on many homes, leaving thousands more with nowhere to live unless they rebuild or move away.

With housing costs increasingly unaffordable and insufficient insurance a daunting problem in Florida, where most of the damage occurred, many residents will be turning to the government and nonprofits for help in getting a roof over their heads again – eventually. Michelle Annette Meyer, a Texas A&M disaster recovery scholar, explains what aid is available, how this money is disbursed and why it typically takes years to obtain, if it ever arrives at all. “I have seen this process frustrate or overwhelm survivors,” she writes.

Also today:

Emily Schwartz Greco

Philanthropy + Nonprofits Editor

The rebuilding in places like Matlacha, Fla., won’t happen overnight. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Recovery from a disaster like Hurricane Ian takes years, and nonprofits play many pivotal roles before and after FEMA aid runs out

Michelle Annette Meyer, Texas A&M University

Many government agencies help people whose lives are thrown off course, but not everyone is eligible or able to access that aid.

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