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Keeping Our Head Above Water Post Hurricane Irma

Keeping Our Head Above Water Post Hurricane Irma

Authored By Carolyn DePaula

Irma has come and gone with a seeming vengeance and left much to repair and rebuild in its wake. We still wake up and leave our homes to go to work, but it's not the same.  For more than a month now, we see debris piled high, downed trees and logs strewn everywhere, and workers toiling in the unforgiving sun on the side of the road for miles and miles.

The Keys are not the same, but in some ways they still are. People are determined; we will make it work. First responders, the National Guard, the volunteers, all angels and helpers who aided thousands in helping back on their feet. 

Events are back, if not scaled down somewhat. Even the pumpkin patch is back at the local church. We are all as a community recovering from the damage Irma has done not only to our buildings and environment, but our collective psyche and most of all, our tourism, which is the lifeblood of the Florida Keys.

Tourism is the only industry in the Keys. Everything pales in comparison. Since Irma, many hotels are down, and empty hotel rooms mean no income for many businesses in the Keys whose families depend on it, especially now Irma has put a sizable dent in all of their savings, if they had any savings at all. 

With the unfortunate natural disasters which have caused so much destruction in a span of only weeks - Harvey, Irma, Maria, Mexico earthquake, California wildfires - our helpers have been busy nonstop. 

Fortunately, here at DePaulas we have been blessed. We have suffered no major structural damage to our two stores in Tavernier or Islamorada. However, the lack of visitors to our islands means less or on some days, no visitors to our stores. 

How can you help us here in the Keys? The best way anyone can help the Florida Keys is to invest in our businesses. You can do this either by visiting our islands in the very lowest parts of Florida, or to shop online at our businesses, such as Many Keys businesses have online pages. You can visit the Islamorada and Key Largo Chamber of Commerce sites to see a list Keys businesses and their accompanying websites. 

You are our biggest supporters, what will help us all recover, what keeps us going. Here at, we ship our fine jewelry all over the world. We thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for choosing to do business with us. For continuing to choose us. We are honored to serve you.


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