Volunteers Needed – Report From Hurricane Florence Relief Efforts

North Carolina (TFC) – A slow and weakening hurricane that made landfall early Friday morning near Wrightsville Beach, NC has devastated the area with heavy rainfall and massive flooding. TFC Sources from the ground there reported having “to rescue firefighters” being bogged down by the immense flooding. If you are on the fence about traveling to help out any way you might be able? Now’s the time to pull the trigger and jump in, as the volunteers and first responders there could definitely use supplies and help. 

An imgur post from a New Bern, NC resident that evacuated initially, and was sent numerous photos (below) of the aftermath taking place in that community;

Hurricane Florence panic and aftermath

I do suggest clicking above and looking at all the photos uploaded. The post reads;

“So Thursday night was scary and exhausting from Hurricane Florence. I evacuated, but many stayed behind for a multitude of reasons. These photos are screenshots I took from my Facebook feed from my friends in the area. I’m going to come back in and put labels on these images, but there is too much going on still to devote too much time to this post. I wanted to include the heartbreaking messages on Facebook of people trapped in their homes because the water was rising so suddenly. The conditions were too intense for 911 to come help, so friends of mine were going out on jet-skis and boats to do civilian rescues. I want people to truly learn from this and understand that if you have the means to evacuate from an approaching hurricane, then do it. And also, to not judge others for their reasons for staying behind. If you have questions on the status of New Bern, NC, then let me know. Thanks and be safe everyone.”

 

Residents did, in fact, have a good deal of time to evacuate, as reports of the risk of this storm came in early September. Additionally, the Governors of Virginia, as well as the Carolinas issued mandatory evacuation warnings for residents in the immediate path of Florence as early as Monday.

TFC Sources advise that if you are traveling into the area to assist, “bring plenty of cash, gas, and quarters… I never expected to be deploying from a laundromat, and they have dryers but no quarters.”

He continues;

“Police are over concerned about looters… Curfews in effect. Lack of electricity has made fuel a scarce commodity. The very few stores open have no internet, and often no electricity so it is cash only. As usual (in disasters) nursing homes are poorly prepared. We (have) evacuated one, and they only called after it required 4X4 trucks to get to them. They were not prepared for evacuation. Patients were evacuated in truck beds, and on boats. A crew lost a truck during that one.”

I asked him about any need for specific skill sets, or equipment:

“Anyone willing to bring in fuel. Skilled shallow water boat operators with boats, and 4X4 trucks that are willing to use them… Certified rescue swimmers are welcome in some jurisdictions. (Bring fuel.)”

Hurricane Florence. Wikipedia

As it stands, the rescue and relief effort there could last weeks and even months. While numerous groups, including the Cajun Army, and Florida Search and Rescue are out already doing as much as they can… They need more help. So to conclude this article I’m including the current communications relay for the Florida Search and Rescue team, Linsey.

If you have decided that you want to go and help? Please use the contact information below to coordinate with teams already on the ground. I want to also iterate here that this communication line is for serious inquiries into volunteer work at a dangerous flood site. Please use sober judgment when considering whether or not to become involved.

Thanks to all the current, and potential volunteers for your support. Email, and phone number below. Also, if you cannot make it to North Carolina to help physically? There are many crowdfunding campaigns going, however, we’re going to recommend this one.

Recruitment inquiries to;

Linsey Shaeffer
Email; linsey.shaeffer@gmail.com

Phone; (409) 543-1758 (Text okay)