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Island Free Press

Outer Banks Community Foundation Preps for 2021 Hurricane Season

National Hurricane Center satellite image storms in the Atlantic basin, September 2020. The Atlantic hurricane season starts on…

National Hurricane Center satellite image storms in the Atlantic basin, September 2020.

The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and runs through November. Outer Banks Community Foundation is making plans to support our community in the event of a 2021 landfalling hurricane, and is requesting contributions from the public for its Disaster Relief Funds.

The Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Funds are our community’s largest source of support for local disaster efforts, providing critical monetary assistance for everything from immediate relief to long-term recovery, reconstruction, and resiliency. The Community Foundation collects disaster relief donations for both Dare County and Ocracoke, and works through community partners and local nonprofits to assist individuals and families in need on the Outer Banks.

Disaster Relief Fund donations are used for emergency food, shelter, water, sanitation, supplies, and health care. The Community Foundation has administered Disaster Relief Funds for Hurricanes Matthew, Isabel, Irene, Sandy, Arthur, Hermine, Michael–and, most recently, Dorian, when a record $1.6 million was donated to help local hurricane victims.

Community Foundation staff know it’s a matter of when–and not if–another hurricane will strike.

“Preparation is the key our disaster response plan,” said Community Foundation Disaster Relief Coordinator and Interim Executive Director Bob Muller. “We have already met with several local partners, including Dare County Emergency Management, Interfaith Community Outreach, Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, and Ocracoke Interfaith Relief and Recovery Team to review our plans for storm season. Another part of our preparation is making sure we have the resources to help when a storm hits.”

Community Foundation Disaster Relief Funds are always ready to receive donations, so that the community has a resource in place and an immediate response to urgent situations. Donors can support these funds at any time, not just when disaster strikes.

Disaster Relief Funds are used to meet a variety of needs in the wake of hurricanes and other crises. Funds help disaster victims pay for temporary shelter, home repairs, supplies, furniture, appliances, food, and other necessities. In instances when an individual has lost wages (e.g., if a person’s place of employment was flooded or closed), funds can be used even more broadly, for example for rent, groceries, medical bills, and other expenses.

Disaster Relief Funds help pay expenses that other sources of support will not cover. Disaster victims will be assisted in seeking all available help (e.g., insurance, FEMA, state or federal assistance) first; Disaster Relief Funds are intended to cover unmet needs, to fill gaps, and to help people who have no other help.

The $1.6 million raised after Hurricane Dorian has been used, through local nonprofit and county partners, to help hundreds of families recover. Donations to the Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Funds are 100% tax-deductible, and every penny goes toward disaster relief and recovery. The Community Foundation absorbs the expense of administering this program for our community.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Community Foundation manages $22 million across more than 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 57 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $12 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. 

 

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