leveraging resources to address survivor needs

Too many homes still sit empty, condemned signs on the doors.

Florence Aftermath Is New Focus of
Wayne County’s Long Term Disaster Recovery Organization

When Long Term Disaster Recovery–Wayne County prepared its annual report in September 2018, the last thing on staff radar was another major disaster. The nonprofit was hoping to wind up its operation within the next few months, after successfully helping more than 50 households in their recovery from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

No one welcomed the storm. However, staff is confident that they are ready to serve Florence survivors with their needs.  As opposed to the initial days during the aftermath of Matthew, staff is in place for the long term disaster recovery expertly led by Debbie Jones, the former director of Wayne County Department of Social Services. Office space is conveniently located at The Salvation Army. Necessary phone and computer systems are in place. Policies and procedures are well established.

Same Mission, Different Storm

The objective of the Long Term Disaster Recovery organization is to assist disaster survivors in their return to their “new normal,” helping to bridge the gaps that have not yet been met as they move forward in their recovery.

By coordinating with other partners through our Unmet Needs Committee, we can assist them with simplified access to resources that will enhance their ability to more fully recover, while preventing duplication of services. With partners like the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, United Way of Wayne County, 4-Day Movement, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries, and many others, we will be able to maximize resources for the most vulnerable of the survivors.

Regardless of the level of impact, case managers will evaluate each situation. They will help ensure individuals and families move forward toward normalcy as far as our resources will allow. Referrals to other agencies will be made as appropriate, including those related to mental health issues.

Anyone affected by the storm should first file a claim through their insurance if they have it. Next, they should apply for assistance with FEMA. Long Term Disaster Recovery–Wayne County can help survivors throughout the entire recovery process which can sometimes seem complicated and frustrating.

And Always the Need for New Funding

There is one area that was severely lacking – funds. Staff estimates that here are just about enough funds to serve the needs of the Hurricane Matthew survivors seeking the group’s support. And even if there were more funds for the new survivors from Hurricane Florence, existing accounting procedures prohibit using Matthew funds for Florence survivors. Another major concern, funding for the current recovery efforts is likely to follow media attention which is focused on harder hit areas like Wilmington and other more damaged areas.

For the survivors with urgent needs, work can only begin with the essential ingredient of funding. The disaster recovery group is an affiliate of the Wayne Charitable Partnership and donations are tax deductible. The location is conveniently located in The Salvation Army offices at 610 N. William Street in Goldsboro. Donations can be sent directly to the group at
Long Term Disaster Recovery – Wayne County
PO Box 1232
Goldsboro, NC 27533