In the past 40 years, hurricanes have caused $1.9 trillion in damages across the U.S. The average destruction from a single hurricane is more than $19 billion. Here in Florida, every homeowner and small business owner knows that when storm season comes, so do the astronomical repair bills.

Despite this monumental threat — which increases each year — it’s nearly impossible for millions of Floridians to access the capital or financing options needed to make storm-hardening upgrades to our homes and businesses. In the midst of a decade with more consecutive years of Category 5 hurricanes than ever before, it is critical that lawmakers and communities alike support programs and companies that make resiliency and energy-efficiency upgrades available to as many property owners as possible.

We need to be able to protect ourselves and our investments. And that’s where PACE comes in.

Julio Fuentes is president of the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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