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Outer Banks Community Foundation prepares for 2021 hurricane season, seeks donations

The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1 and runs through November. The Outer Banks Community Foundation is making plans to support the 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,” stated a press release from the Outer Banks Community Foundation. “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, not if, another hurricane will strike.

“Preparation is the key our disaster response plan,” said Bob Muller, Community Foundation disaster relief coordinator and interim executive director. “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.”

Disaster Relief Funds are always ready to receive donations so 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, such as 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 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 the community.

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