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FEMA advises storm victims to donate wisely

RALEIGH – The overwhelming generosity of the public in the wake of Hurricane Florence is helping affected communities to start healing from the consequences of this disaster.
However, a deluge of donated items can quickly exceed the needs of the affected communities, requiring supporting agencies to redirect manpower away from providing direct services needed by survivors to managing donated goods that may not meet survivors’ needs.
Therefore, the State of North Carolina is asking you not to donate unsolicited goods at this time. This will support improved coordination with experienced disaster relief organizations and state/local emergency management offices so those in need quickly receive the right help.
Easiest way to help: Donate cash
If you are not affected by Hurricane Florence, the most effective way to support disaster survivors’ recovery is to make tax-deductible financial donations to trusted voluntary-, faith- and community-based charitable organizations. This gives them the ability to purchase, or provide vouchers for, what survivors actually need.
In addition, when these organizations or survivors purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local economy, helping businesses recover faster.
Donate through a trusted organization
To ensure your financial contribution is used responsibly, only donate to reputable organizations. Both the North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.ncvoad.org) and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.nvoad.org) list trusted organizations receiving donations. The North Carolina VOAD website has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services to survivors of Hurricane Florence.
The list can be found at www.ncvoad.org/cms/NCVOADmembership. The National VOAD website has information on nonprofit organizations accepting or registering individual in-kind donations.
Register before volunteering
The situation is still not good for unaffiliated volunteers to self-deploy to affected areas since they may create additional burdens on communities where resources for food and shelter are scarce.
The State of North Carolina is asking potential volunteers to register with www.volunteernc.org or with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice.
The NC 211 statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing
and other storm-related details.
Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 (TTY), or text Florence to 898211. The information line is
staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm resources.

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