Natural disaster relief stays to rebuild after storms

Local News

Once a tropical storm is over, the water and winds may not be coming any more, but the rebuilding of people’s lives just starts.

Hope Roaten, Executive Director at the Mid Central Pennsylvania chapter for the American Red Cross said the Red Cross stays on sites as long as there is a need.

She said that a few weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, there wasn’t nearly the level of attention on the impacted areas.

“Long after the media leaves and long after it’s well out of everyone’s memory, it’s important to remember that the Red Cross and other community organizations are helping these disaster ridden areas months and sometimes years, depending on the size and scope of the disaster,” Roaten said.

She said response work, like giving food and shelter to victims gets a lot of attention, but once that’s done, recovery begins.

“As we moved more towards recovery, specifically in Puerto Rico, things we were doing, were getting generators out to communities, doing the community impact assessments, making sure that people had water purification systems,” Roaten said.

She said the recovery work is things that will help people transition back to what their life was like, before disaster struck.

According to Roaten, more than 6,700 people stayed at a 127 Red Cross and community supported shelters Thursday night, throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to bring relief to those affected by Tropical Storm Florence.

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