Resources Available for States Impacted by Hurricane Florence
Multiple areas respond to the storm with resources from the American Red Cross, FEMA and other agencies.
9/18/2018 10:30 AM
Federal and local agencies are working on resources and recovery efforts as a result of Hurricane Florence and flooding on the East Coast, particularly in North Carolina and South Carolina. Emergency declarations occurred in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia as Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast. Media accounts indicated that Florence has the power to impact inland areas in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared public health emergencies in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Agencies in the accounts receivable management industry may consider stopping or modifying collection activities with consumers in these states while recovery efforts continue. Clients may have guidance for emergency communication expectations and consider the impact of collection efforts in these areas. They may be fruitless until consumers can recover from the storm. Many debt collectors opt to suspend communication attempts until mail delivery and telephone service is available in disaster-stricken areas, Collector magazine editor Anne Rosso May recently reported. Read more tips on communication strategies during a disaster here.
HHS has additional resources on emergency preparedness available. The department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are coordinating emergency responses to evacuate hospitals and nursing homes, if needed.
FEMA officials, including Jeffrey Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery, said last week that Hurricane Florence is “the strongest storm to target the Carolinas and this part of our country in decades,” according to NBC News.
Visit the American Red Cross website for resources if you are in the path of the storm or to help people in the multiple areas with watches and warnings as a result of Hurricane Florence. If you are interested in helping, you can donate by calling (800) RED CROSS. Donors outside the storm areas are asked to give blood and thousands of people are staying in shelters operated through the American Red Cross, according to a news release issued Sept. 17.
The American Red Cross also offers a website to find loved ones in areas affected by a disaster and to mark yourself “safe and well” if you are in those areas.
Here is a list of other key resources:
- The IRS and U.S. Small Business Administration and FEMA have information about disaster relief;
- The Federal Communications Commission is also providing regular communications updates for areas impacted by the storm and has multiple other resources available.
- The Federal Trade Commission has guidelines for consumers to develop a recovery plan.
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