Over the past several days, members of the NC State community have witnessed and been directly impacted by Hurricane Florence. During this time of disaster, members of our community are searching for ways to engage with and support devastated communities. In addition to countless immediate needs, sustained support and relief will be necessary to address the long-term impacts of the storm. We want to provide you with resources and avenues to responsibly be in service with others, in response to the greatest needs of the impacted communities.
How to respond when disaster strikes our community
Do not self-deploy
Wait until a need has been identified and the local community has requested support. Connect with an existing non-profit organization before going to a disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, communities can become quickly overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of those who want to help. Additionally, food, water, shelter, and transportation are at a premium, and the first priority is making sure local residents and responders are able to get what they need.
If you or your group are interested in serving as an NC Disaster Volunteer, please visit https://www.nc.gov/volunteer. Through registering, they will be able to determine how to best utilize you. Through the registration process, you can indicate your primary volunteer interest or capability, special skills, and donations or special equipment you might have. Additionally, the American Red Cross is seeking volunteers to help support efforts locally and throughout the state. They are in need of help maintaining and setting up shelter facilities, registering clients, managing client information, serving meals, and general housekeeping. If you are willing to volunteer for a 6-12 hour shift, please consider applying. The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is also seeking donations.
Right now, what most communities need are monetary resources. Money offers organizations and volunteer agencies the most flexibility to obtain the most-needed resources and helps redistribute money into the local economy to help businesses recover. Additionally, because of the flood water, the infrastructure is not always in place to deliver items to the communities that need them most. Unsolicited donated items also require agencies to redirect critical resources away from providing most needed services, to sorting, transporting, and distributing items that might not meet the needs of disaster survivors. Consider donating or raising funds for the NC State Student Emergency Fund to ensure that NC State students have access to the support and financial resources they need to successfully recover from this unexpected crisis. The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is also currently accepting contributions for Hurricane Florence damage. Contributions will help with immediate unmet needs of Hurricane Florence victims. https://governor.nc.gov/donate-florence-recovery.
Donate through a Trusted Organization
Many volunteer, faith-based, and community-based organizations are active during times of disaster and provide trusted mechanisms to donate to response and recovery efforts. We encourage you to visit Charity Navigator, an organization whose purpose is to provide objective ratings as you research charities you can support and trust.
Assistance and Support
If you are a student experiencing challenges due to Hurricane Florence, visit the Pack Essentials website for a list of available resources. If you would like to discuss your situation with the Student Ombuds, please call (919) 513-3401. You can also complete a Pack Essentials application and someone will be in contact with you.
Cape Fear Region
UNC Wilmington’s Office of Community Engagement is actively compiling a list of resources for people of the Cape Fear Region affected by Hurricane Florence, as well as people from around the region and country who want to donate goods, services, or money. This list is not meant to be exhaustive or exclusive, or to imply any endorsement of the below organizations on behalf of the University.
Just Florence Recovery Coalition
The A. Phillip Randolph Institute, in collaboration with A Just Florence Recovery coalition, is seeking volunteers to assist in efforts to sort, pack, and load supplies to transport directly to community centers in Eastern NC. The coalition is responding to the leadership of migrant farm worker, indigenous, and environmental justice communities, who are among the worst impacted by Hurricane Florence and environmental racism. Please visit www.justflorencerecovery.org to learn more about the mission, ways to donate, and distribution sites.