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Residential Real Estate
Sep 4, 2019

What to Expect When You are Expecting A Hurricane

Sponsored Content provided by JC Lyle - Executive Director, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry

Well, here we go again.

Our community is weary from the last 11 ½ months of hurricane recovery from Florence. Some are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

One might expect a downtrodden, anxious group of disaster management professionals, still dealing with post-traumatic stress, overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to handle preparedness and immediate response with long-term recovery still on our plates.

The last few days of conference calls and meetings have shown me exactly the opposite. State and local emergency management officials, faith leaders, nonprofit executives, government employees, business leaders, and individual volunteers are confidently stepping up to the plate for a third time in four years.

It is amazing!

One reason for our confidence is knowing we can rely on each other.

After Hurricane Florence, our community came together in ways we’ve never seen before. For example, Long-Term Recovery Groups (LTRG’s) in each county have worked together to manage volunteers, identify and address unmet needs, coordinate resources, and provide input on improvements as we prepared for this hurricane season. These relationships are the foundation of our Florence recovery and are serving us well as we prepare for whatever Dorian has in store for us.

Here’s what you can expect in the next few days…

You can expect us to prepare wisely.
While we only have a few days, at least with a slow-moving hurricane we do have a few days to prepare. I can’t think of any other disaster that gives a community that kind of warning!

WARM is always preparing for severe weather. Our rebuilding work makes homes stronger and sounder, better able to withstand strong winds. In our 23-year history, we’ve strengthened over 1,300 homes in Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender Counties. We’ve rebuilt over 70 homes damaged by Hurricane Florence.

This week, we contacted everyone on our waitlist who needs roof repair or replacement. Our crews are out this week tarping 29 roofs to offer more protection from the driving rain we may see during Dorian. We have also stocked plywood, more tarps, generators, and other supplies needed immediately after the storm.

You can expect shorter set up time.
In the weeks and months after Hurricane Florence, many out-of-town faith-based and other relief organizations set up offices and other accommodations to help with response and recovery efforts. Many are still here. The Catholics are case working champions in our region. The Baptists, the United Methodists have established home rehab programs and have settled in for long term recovery; they will respond quickly and in harmony with local groups. American Red Cross is planning to shelter 10,000 people.

The out-of-town groups who will return for the response phase already know where to serve food and distribute supplies. Team Rubicon’s 102,000 members are on stand-by for deployment to the Carolinas. Operation BBQ is moving its kitchens to the east coast. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is collecting buckets of flood supplies and staging medical and shower trailers.

Regarding the money, the Governor’s office is already setting up a Dorian Disaster Fund and expects to be ready for applications next week.

You can expect a unified and strategic response.
If the storm impacts our region, our partners will continue to work together and capitalize on each other’s strengths.

Our LTRG Construction Committees, consisting of organizations that rebuild owner-occupied homes, are a great example. Many of our partners have the training and resources to muck-out flooded homes while WARM’s crew of six construction professionals will focus on emergency repairs.

We will quickly shift from recovery to immediate response… and eventually back to recovery again.

Obviously, no one wants Dorian to come anywhere near us. But if she does, know that thousands of helpers are ready and waiting to come to the rescue. We are stronger together.

JC Lyle has served as WARM’s Executive Director since January 2009. Under her leadership, WARM's annual revenue and productivity have more than quadrupled. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Lyle worked at McKim & Creed on subdivision design, rezoning and permitting throughout coastal North Carolina. Lyle earned her Master of Business Administration from UNCW's Cameron School of Business and has presented workshops on affordable housing issues and nonprofit management at state-level conferences. Lyle serves on the Planning Commission for the City of Wilmington and the North Carolina Housing Partnership, the board that oversees the state's housing trust fund. In 2012, Lyle was named Wilma Magazine's first Woman to Watch in the Nonprofit Category. In 2014, she accepted WARM's Coastal Entrepreneur Award in the Nonprofit Category, given by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2018, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Cape Fear Chapter named her Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year.

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