UPDATE: Thursday, 9/20, 6 PM ET
From RE/MAX SVP Mike Reagan:
“Tom Lattin, our balloon pilot, just finished delivering supplies in some of the hardest-hit areas in North Carolina – Newport, Havelock and New Bern. One stop was at a distribution center in Morehead City, coordinated by Broker/Owner Meredith Johnson. Another was at RE/MAX Elite Realty in Jacksonville, where supplies will be distributed from the office.
“Now Tom is heading back to Greenville to pick up a load of supplies the Greenville office bought for the relief efforts. Damage has been extensive throughout the area. New Bern is in the drying-out and clean-up phase. Havelock still has no power, and trees are on power lines all over the place. Many buildings are badly damaged.
“The We Are RE/MAX Relief Fund account is up and running for anyone who would like to help RE/MAX Affiliates in the impact areas. We also spoke to Broker/Owner Buddy Blake in the Wilmington area, and he said people are just now returning to their homes and assessing the damage. We’ll continue to provide updates as information comes in.”
UPDATE: Wednesday, 9/19 6 PM ET
RE/MAX, LLC has launched a GoFundMe site for donations that will help RE/MAX Affiliates impacted by the storm and its aftermath.
The message posted there: With the storm waters of Florence still rising in multiple states, the RE/MAX Relief Campaign is once again being mobilized to help. The RE/MAX Relief Campaign was established in 2017 in the wake of hurricanes that struck Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida and surrounding areas. Distributions have helped hundreds of RE/MAX Associates get back on their feet after suffering devastating loss in a natural disaster.
Your generous donations will directly support RE/MAX brokers and agents affected by Florence and other major disasters. Funds will be distributed with great care on an individual case-by-case basis. Through the power of the global RE/MAX network, we can make a real difference in each other’s lives. Let’s do it again – together. Anything you can contribute is appreciated. Donate today. (Please note: Donations are not tax-deductible.)
UPDATE: Wednesday, 9/19 4 PM ET: Comments from Regional Balloon Pilot Tom Lattin:
We believe we have 11 cities with offices that have been affected. Probably won’t get to them all. Not every city has a place that can accept goods. And some routes currently require permits if you are hauling supplies. We have to do everything in daylight since you can’t see the flooded roads at night, so our timing is important. Many more roads are closed due to flooding, and will be for the rest of the week. What normally takes 2 hours to drive can take 5-6 hours.”
UPDATE: Wednesday, 9/19, 4 PM ET:
The NC REALTORS Association is posting updates on immediate needs and efforts.
UPDATE: Tuesday, 9/18, 5 PM ET:
From Ed Vieira, Region Vice President of RE/MAX Central Atlantic and RE/MAX Carolinas:
“Downstream water is the major issue now, especially in North Carolina. Wilmington is isolated by overflowing rivers; Jacksonville and Fayetteville have dangerous river issues; New Bern and Morehead City were hit very hard and many areas are underwater. It’s a tough time for everyone in these communities.
“There is a lot happening on the ground. Our RE/MAX Balloon pilot – Tom Lattin – and his back-up pilot, Ken Draughn, are preparing to take two vans and trailers to multiple cities based on a priority list of greatest needs. The biggest deliverables now: cleaning supplies, disinfectant, bleach, mops, rags, food, snack bars, bottled water, paper products and toiletries – things we all take for granted in our normal lives.
“The regional staff is working hard to reach owners in areas we are targeting and schedule drop-offs at offices and central distribution points; Tom and his team are doing the same. Working together, we’ll get through this.”
UPDATE: Tuesday, 9/18, 4 PM ET:
Looking to help? The National Association of Realtors Relief Foundation distributes 100% of collected funds to disaster relief efforts. RE/MAX Affiliate and 2018 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall of Missouri said this in a communication to NAR membership this afternoon: “Today, residents along the Carolina Coast are picking through what remains of their homes. Others continue to face the threat of flash floods as Hurricane Florence, now a tropical depression, continues to drop trillions of gallons of water in parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. With at least 32 dead and millions evacuated from their homes or without power … our hearts go out to Florence’s victims, but with your help, we can offer more than thoughts and prayers. Through the not-for-profit REALTORS® Relief Foundation, we can deliver housing assistance to those in need during the critical weeks and months to come. Simply, RRF helps people stay in their communities and helps communities stay strong.”
UPDATE: Monday, 9/17:
As of 1 PM ET, September 17, the storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression. Historic rainfall throughout the region (up to 30 inches in some parts) is resulting in flash flooding and keeping many of the over one million evacuated citizens displaced. According to The New York Times, hundreds of thousands of people are without electricity and tens of thousands of homes are believed to have been destroyed. At this time, the belief is that all RE/MAX Affiliates in the region are safe.
Before, during and after the worst of Hurricane Florence, RE/MAX Affiliates throughout the impacted regions have been in the thoughts of the entire network. If you are in those areas, please let your Broker/Owner or Regional team know how you are doing. You can also use the RE/MAX Carolinas and RE/MAX Central Atlantic Facebook pages to connect with other Affiliates in your region.
Below are some important resources, tips and information.
1. Most important: Follow local evacuation orders
Download the FEMA App for real-time weather alerts, emergency safety tips and to locate emergency shelters. You can also find more information on your state’s website:
2. Scan or pack important documents and prepare for flooding
Consult FEMA’s Emergency Financial Checklist for documents you’ll want to be sure to bring with you or at the very least, scan and upload to the cloud. In a pinch, snap photos and upload them to Google Drive. Take valuables with you, or move them to higher shelves to protect them from flooding. The same goes for electronics. Unplug computers, televisions, etc. and move off the floor to help them stay dry.
Find more important tips from The New York Times.
3. Find pet-friendly lodging
Bring pets with you when you evacuate, in a carrier if possible. If you have time, gather photos of your pet to have on hand in the event you are separated and be sure to grab any vaccinations records, medications and plenty of food. The Humane Society has provided a list of sites to find pet-friendly lodging:
ABC News has more advice for pet owners.
4. Stay in the know – and in touch!
If you’re in an area with weak Wi-Fi, try visiting a text-only version of NPR.org for the latest news (thin.npr.org). Follow the projected forecast of the storm via the National Weather Service or Google maps.
Help tell the story: Send photos and videos to email@example.com.