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The Community Foundation Blog


Hurricane Florence Response
By The Community Foundation / September 11, 2018
Hurricane Florence Response

Our thoughts are with those impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Florence and we are here to support our neighbors as they begin to rebuild their lives and their communities. Florence wreaked havoc in the Carolinas over the weekend and continues to threaten additional flooding as it travels north as a tropical storm. Some communities face immediate concerns for resident safety, while others begin to assess the damage and begin relief efforts. 

Where to Give 

Philanthropy plays an important role after disasters, with national emergency response and relief organizations providing immediate assistance and community foundations often working with local partners to address and monitor the longer term rebuilding efforts. We have compiled a list of charitable funds established by our experienced and trusted partners in philanthropy. As we become aware of additional efforts, we will add them here. 

National Partners 

This fund was established to focus on the medium- and long-term recovery needs in areas affected by this season’s Atlantic hurricanes. Emphasis will be given to projects and initiatives that support vulnerable populations whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated, prevailing needs that emerge over the weeks and months to come, and that fill in gaps where public resources are unavailable or scarce. 

Regional Community Foundations 

The Coastal Community Foundation serves nine counties across coastal South Carolina, with two offices in Charleston and Beaufort. They have previously worked with local nonprofit partners to address needs resulting from 2015 floods and Hurricane Mathew. This fund will support immediate and long-term recovery for those affected by Hurricane Florence.    

Foundation for the Carolinas is located in Charlotte, NC. Donations to the Hurricane Florence Response Fund will be directed to nonprofits in North and South Carolina providing relief to victims of the storm. Grants will be distributed to areas of greatest need once the full impact of the hurricane is known. 

The North Carolina Community Foundation is located in Raleigh, NC. Their disaster relief fund was reactivated to support nonprofits with programs that help hurricane victims in the state. The grantmaking strategy is to focus on mid- to long-term recovery efforts in affected communities and does not compete with first-responders.  

How to be an Effective Volunteer 

Many people are compelled to help following a disaster. It is important to ensure that your time and resources are spent in response to actual needs and that they do not hinder response efforts. 

  1. Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before coming to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained and supported to respond in the most effective way. 
  2. Do not self deploy. Seeing images of disaster may compel you to head to the impacted area. Don’t underestimate the complexity of working in a disaster area. Until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support, volunteers should not enter.
    -   Be sure to affiliate with existing voluntary organization before coming to the disaster area.
    -   Wait until it is safe to travel to sites and opportunities have been identified. 
  3. Be patient. Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster--especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.

    Additional information and any local volunteer opportunities will be posted to www.handsonrva.org/disaster. HandsOn Greater Richmond is a member of the Virginia Capital Area Region VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Time of Disaster).  

Tips for Disaster Preparedness 

State and local officials have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm’s arrival to boost preparedness efforts and to mobilize emergency managers and response teams so they can respond quickly once the impact of the storm is known. On a personal level, you are encouraged to make your own plans to ride out the storm. 

Personal planning should include, but is not limited to: 

  • Have water, non-perishable food, and medications (and the same for your pets) stocked and within reach. 
  • Locate, collect or purchase batteries, flash lights and a first aid kit. 
  • Keep a full tank of gas in your car. 
  • Follow news of the latest developments through radio, television or mobile apps as long as possible. Ensure your cell phones are fully charged. 
  • Locate insurance policies and phones numbers, emergency contacts, utility service providers and any other important contact information that may be needed. 

For more details on steps you can take to be ready for Hurricane Florence or a future disaster, please visit www.vaemergency.gov or www.ready.gov

Need More Information? 

We are here for you. Please call us at 804-330-7400 if you have any questions and check here for future updates.

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