Local News

N.C. Agencies Ready To Assist Katrina-Affected States

Posted September 1, 2005

— Gov. Mike Easley announced Thursday that several state agencies are sending resources to assist Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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"We were prepared to face the impact of Katrina here in North Carolina, and we are now prepared to send help to those who did not escape her wrath," Easley said. "Of all the states, we know what it is like to weather a hurricane. The rest of the country came to our aid after Hurricane Floyd and we want to do all we can now for our neighbors who have lost so much."

The N.C. Division of Forest Resources has dispatched 27 employees trained in disaster relief to Louisiana to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. They left Tuesday and will partner with another eight Division employees, who were sent last week to Florida to help that state recover from Katrina.

The 35 NCDFR staff will assist FEMA teams who are receiving and distributing ice, bottled water, ready-to-eat meals, canned foods, portable lights, batteries, first aid kits and other relief supplies to victims of the hurricane.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has offered assistance with bridge repairs, debris removal and traffic control in affected states. Crews are on standby and ready to respond as needed.

In addition, the Division of Emergency Management has offered staff to assist with damage assessment and donation management. The divisions of Facility Services and Emergency Management also are preparing to send a field hospital with a team of physicians, nurses and paramedics to the region later in the week.

The Division of Public Health has 21 employees on standby to join recovery efforts. In addition, the division has provided the affected states with hurricane educational materials that were developed during Hurricanes Fran and Floyd.

The Department of Cultural Resources has offered its resources to FEMA and will work with the N.C. Museums Council, the Southeastern Museums Conference and the American Association of Museums to organize support for art museums, archival collections, and historical museums in affected states.

Some emergency responders have already left for the hard-hit region. In addition, Easley is encouraging North Carolina citizens to help relief efforts in other states by donating to the N.C. Helping Neighbors Fund.

Citizens in North Carolina who want to donate money to help with relief efforts in other states are being urged to call the N.C. Disaster Hotline at (888) 835-9966 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The money that is collected will be sent to the other states to use for their immediate needs.

The N.C. Disaster Relief Fund is managed by the Governor's Office in partnership with United Way of North Carolina. There is no administrative cost associated with the fund, and 100 percent of the donated funds will go to the victims. You can make checks payable to the N.C. Helping Neighbors Fund and mail to:

N.C. Helping Neighbors Fund Office of the Governor 20312 Mail Service Center Raleigh, N.C. 27699-0312

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