Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

For: Brian Branigan, Allison Culbertson, Keys Boat Tours
Big Pine Key, FL
Organizer: Brian Branigan
Hurricane Irma Relief Fund (Brian Branigan, Allison Culbertson, Keys Boat Tours)
$7,960
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 72 donors
15% Complete

The Story

We are safe and alive - and grateful. But, we lost everything else; home, cars, boats, travel trailers, store, merchandise, rental equipment, livelihood, pretty much our life savings. It will be a long road back but we are determined as ever. If you'd like to help hurricane Irma victims like us, why not do so directly? Know were your money is going and know that it is appreciated. Also, feel free to keep in touch with us and watch our progress - that you helped make possible. Then, when you visit the Keys, visit us and let me take you for a boat tour. If you have the means, we appreciate it very much. If not your caring and thoughts is plenty. Thank you for consideration.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 28, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on September 28, 2017

The good news, If one can find a silver lining, is this. After seven  ten-hour days of hard labor, (working solo) the demo of the interior  mobile home will be completed today. The worry is that if code  enforcement stops by while there is no floor, that they might red tag  our home - put a work stop on it and render it damaged beyond repair.  But, it is not damaged beyond repair. I have added 24 - 2x4x12's to the  floor joists and walls, replaced any rotted pieces and made the floor  stronger than ever. It now needs two layers of 4x8x3/4 pressure treated  plywood as a sub floor. Once that sub floor is in, the place is safe  from a fate worse than Irma - code enforcement, so time is of the  essence. It has been a long 7 days people, but I am ahead of where I  thought I would be by now. There is still a long road ahead; kitchen  cabinet rebuild, walls, flooring, AirBNB trailer rebuild, etc. We had to  replace our electrical service pole too, and run new service  underground to our box. I had to dig a 30' trench for that. I feel good,  but I look forward to putting all of this behind me. Next: the shop and  boats to deal with. Hopefully, everything will be ready by season -  Thanksgiving. Thanks again for your kind contributions everyone!


Posted on September 28, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on September 28, 2017

I told my neighbor that there is a new day of the week in Big Pine =  Cryday. When the demo gets tough, you almost break. Is it worth it or  no? Some days are better than others and, as I said, it gets harder  before it gets better. But, today was a good day in terms of "worth it"  confidence. I was able to get the lower kitchen cabinets out while  leaving the counter in tact. My hope is to have the demo complete by mid  week. There is a lot of black mold 12" above the water line, to  the floor. That will all come out. I will treat the mold with the best  possible stuff, then the renovation will begin to take place. PS: I  saved the face, drawers, and doors of our kitchen cabinets, so that I  only have to rebuild the box frame. I don't have much to show, but know  that I am working very hard every day. And, I thank you again for  helping us make it possible to save our humble home. Very appreciated!


Posted on September 28, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on September 28, 2017

Got a fair amount done today; chainsaw, tree and boat removal, air  out mobile home and travel trailer, and demo. Tomorrow: Get stuff out,  begin to gut floor. Maybe rent a storage place. That's it. In the very iffy chance that there is a chance to save anything, I have begun gutting.   Our mobile home would require and entirely new subfloor, floor,  insulation, and walls from 3' down. Time is of the essence due to mold.  It doesn't look good, two inches of muck and a water line 28"  high inside. The floors are already buckled due to particleboard  sub-flooring. All of the appliances are shot, and what about the  electric, hot water heater, etc??? 

I do have to say that the new elevated modular homes faired well. They  are expensive, $450K, but no damage in neighborhoods where other  dwellings suffered greatly. Just saying, And if anyone would like  to buy us one... Tonight: soup for dinner. Curfew till dawn. On the  bright side, a neighbor bailed me out with assistance of his tractor,  and a company from CA brought four trucks of fuel, 40,000 gallons and  gave it away to locals. Thank you CA! But, I missed the free meal and 1/2 off beer at our marina restaurant, Hogfish Bar. So, soup and water - and pretzels.   This just in: an Upstate, NY paper contacted me and is supposedly doing  a story on us. That's all for today. Thanks again to our most recent  contributors. Let me repay you in barter; visit, paddle, boat!  Thanks again to my amazing cousin Susan and her husband Greg. We so  appreciate what you've done for us!! I hope the knee recovery is coming  along! Probably too many photos for onepost. I need them for FEMA  documentation and general archive. And, I want to show you, dear  contributors, friends and family the progress we are making. That's a  good thing! Good night.

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