The Aftermath of Hurricane Florence
AmericaServes would like to recognize all of our networks throughout the Southeast region for their continued support to the communities impacted by Hurricane Florence. In the days leading up to the storm, the five networks located across the Carolinas developed a contingency plan to ensure uninterrupted operations across the region before, during, and after the storm. Our Western, Central, and Metrolina networks were prepared to field all service requests coming from NCServes Costal and SCServes, who were forced to close their doors and evacuate. What’s more, our partners at NCServes Central took the extraordinary step of embedding at Joint Force Headquarters of the North Carolina National Guard to better coordinate assistance for all four NCServes networks.
Although Florence was downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 1 hurricane, the effects were still catastrophic. The storm made landfall on September 14, and lingered for three days. To date, Hurricane Florence has claimed 37 lives across 3 states, left 343,000 people without power, and flooded over 16 rivers, devastating entire communities.
In the days leading up to the hurricane, it was uncertain where the storm would make landfall, but communities all along the coast of the Carolinas and even some inland were evacuated or forced to prepare for the storm. This meant that a large number of service providers in the region had to close their doors or limit their service offerings.
Presently, there are 16 AmericaServes communities. As an inter-connected, national network, resources can be surged from one network to another anywhere across the country during national disasters to ensure affected communities experience continuity of care. In the case of Hurricane Florence, the contingency plan rolled out by NCServes and SCServes has seen over 30 families receiving assistance. The teams across the region have pulled together to coordinate care for multiple, complex cases, including: housing, food assistance, transportation, financial aid, counseling, and legal counseling.
One of the biggest contributors to North Carolina’s continued relief effort is a close supporter of AmericaServes: the Walmart Foundation. Through the Walmart Foundation’s continued financial support of the NCServes and SCServes communities, three quarters of a million veterans and their families in the state of North Carolina have the opportunity to seek relief from Florence. In addition to financial support, the Walmart Foundation has offered free meals and water for the victims of the storm at select Walmart locations.
Continued recovery efforts for NCServes will include ongoing coordination with the Walmart Foundation, in an effort to help veterans and military connected families through this tough time.