HI-CERT Activated after Hurricane Matthew

By Larry Ogden, HI-CERT President
HI CERT was activated twice this fall as a result of two storms hitting Hatteras Island. In September we were activated to help clean up homes after Tropical Storm Hermine flooded Avon, Buxton, Hatteras Village and Frisco. Then on October 10th, Hurricane Matthew hit Hatteras Island with 100mph winds and a very strong sound surge flooding the lower villages on Hatteras Island. Over 5’ of flood waters covered the Island from Buxton to Hatteras Village causing many homes to be flooded and many severely damaged. Our CERT team was activated and responded quickly. We were asked to have volunteers at the Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras Fire Departments to help hand out clean-up kits, buckets, bleach and other needed materials to residents. We also had a team go to the Hatteras Fire Department and provide a hot lunch to over 250 local fireman and volunteers as they began the clean-up response.

The Salvation Army came in and set up food trailers, one in Frisco and one in Hatteras Village, and our team assisted them in serving meals, cleaning up, etc., for almost two weeks. We also set up a  base at the Frisco Fire Department to direct work teams to go out and help folks clean up and dry out their damaged homes. After we got set up, Dare County Social Services did home inspections and started to develop a list of homes that really needed help. They contacted the Methodist Men’s Team to come in and help with the clean-up. Eventually Social Service took over and managed directing the clean-up volunteers and our team continued to assist as required. We helped clean up the Frisco Fire Department that was also flooded during the storm and assisted in keeping the inventory of material used in the clean-up efforts (skids of water, bleach, kits, tarps, etc.).

One of our members assisted in setting up two Really Free Markets, one in Frisco and one in Hatteras, for people to come and get donated supplies of pet food, potatoes, cleaning material, canned food and much more. Many of our CERT members worked at these markets to help set up the donated items and staff the markets.

Our team members did a great job, and we are very grateful and proud of our volunteers. So far we have worked over 800 volunteer hours helping our neighbors in need. Many of our members live in the flooded areas, but still found time to help their neighbors who needed help. We are still in the clean-up stage, and a lot more work to be done.

We are all hoping for a nice quiet winter with no more storms!!

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