Long Term Recovery Group Seeks Volunteers

Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance
Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance (photo by Cheryl McCarthy)

The Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance (CCDRA) was formed in October 2016, not long after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. The Mission of CCDRA is simple: “To strengthen area wide disaster coordination through information sharing, simplifying the access to available resources for individuals and families, and jointly resolving cases with unmet needs from disasters.” While the mission is simple, the work is hard and ongoing.

Immediately following Hurricane Matthew a group of volunteers with a lifetime of experience in Disaster Relief realized the need for a Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) in Craven County and set out to form CCDRA. The group was formed with the help of FEMA liaisons and consists of several different smaller groups working to meet the needs of people affected by disasters in Eastern North Carolina, specifically Craven County.

CCDRA was still actively assisting victims of Hurricane Matthew in September of 2018 when Hurricane Florence rampaged Craven and surrounding counties with historic flooding and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage left behind. Now, nearly two and half years after Hurricane Florence, volunteer members of CCDRA are still hard at work to make families whole again.

In fact, CCDRA is managing over 1,500 individuals and families currently, with over 1,000 of those still in need of some sort of assistance post Hurricane Florence. The needs range from a few pieces of furniture and/or appliances to entire homes that still need to be gutted and rebuilt. With the help of many outside agencies and assistance from State and local government, the work continues on many fronts.

CCDRA is made up of many committees working to meet the needs of people from a holistic approach. The effort includes Volunteers who tackle the grief associated with disasters from an Emotional and Wellness standpoint with clergy and social workers, to professional, yet volunteer construction specialists who tackle the physical needs.

In the wake of the COVID-19 disaster and with so many people still in need post Hurricane Florence, CCDRA needs more people willing to volunteer their time and talents.

Volunteers are needed to fill the following CCDRA Board positions:

– Case Management Committee Chair: This person will oversee a team of volunteers, interns and staff assigned to advocate for clients as they move through the recovery process. This committee is also actively recruiting more volunteer/intern CSR’s (Client Service Representatives).

– Construction Manager: This person oversees the coordination and scheduling of all rebuilding projects for cases approved by CCDRA case management, provides estimates and scopes of work for repair projects and works alongside the volunteer committee to match volunteer skills with repair project needs.

CCDRA still meets monthly, via Zoom, as a full organization with our recovery partners such as Habitat for Humanity, Baptist on a Mission, Fuller Center Disaster Recovery Rebuild and representatives from our State and County Emergency Services and many other organizations active in disaster. CCDRA’s executive committee, led by Chair Antoinette Boskey-Chadwick and Director Kitti Hardison meets bi-weekly (currently via Zoom) in an effort to ensure no one injured by Hurricanes Matthew or Florence is left without help.

If you have the ability to help, please contact Kitti Hardison, CCDRA Director at (252) 571-2976.

General questions or requests for help may be directed to the same number or ccdra.ltrg@gmail.com.

We are grateful for your part in making sure everyone in Eastern NC understands the recovery process.

By Jami Turner, Communication Chair, Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance (CCDRA)