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Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee | Official Website

Welcome to RCDRC.com your 24 hour online resource for news and updates about Robeson County's official Long-term Recovery Group [LTRG} and ongoing Hurricane Matthew disaster recovery efforts.

Disaster Recovery News

RCDRC Accepting Online Donations!

RCDRC is happy to announce that we are now able to accept donations via the web through a Secure Online gateway provided by Church World Service, Inc. CWS serves as our fiscal agent, and as such, CWS accepts contributions, gifts and grants for the Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee. [RCDRC]

We Need Your Help!

Please spread the word about this feature as the ongoing and emerging needs of both RCDRC and disaster survivors throughout Robeson County continues. For example, as we reported last week we are still waiting for the United Way of Robeson County to transfer all funds [including contributions, gifts, and grants] that they have received on the behalf of RCDRC into the bank account of our new fiscal agent, Church World Service. Despite our efforts to contact the United Way of Robeson County via mail, phone and email an official response to our request and actions to resolve this matter is still pending. As a result RCDRC's efforts to address our most basic operational needs [ie. paying our office utility bill, rent, phone bill, etc., ] and our plan to reactivate the process of distributing financial assistance to eligible Hurricane Matthew survivors through our Case Review Committee has also been delayed. Stay tuned, we will continue to keep you updated, and always thank you for your support!

God is good: RCDRC’s Case Managers Return!

[ April 27, 2018] In this new season of growth and opportunity we are humbly witnessing with reverent awe how God is continuing to bless this organization. Within the last two weeks we have achieved recognition as a 501c3 organization and public charity, we've obtained a new fiscal agent through an agreement with Church World Service, and today we are also happy to announce that RCDRC is able to provide Disaster Case Management services again and our office is officially open to the public! [ Learn More ]

RCDRC is now a 501c3 Organization! v

[ April 18, 2018 ] More good news! We are pleased to announced that RCDRC has received a determination letter from the IRS indicating that we are now officially a tax exempt organization under IRC Section 501c3. The letter highlights that "Donors can deduct contributions they make to [RCDRC] under IRC Section 170"" and that RCDRC is "also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts." The letter also highlights that RCDRC is classified as a public charity.

[ Learn More ]

RCDRC has a New Fiscal Agent!

[ April 14, 2018 ] RCDRC is pleased to announce that effective Friday April 13, 2018 Church World Service, Inc. (CWS) is the official fiscal agent of the Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee. (RCDRC) We are especially thankful to CWS for their patience and unwavering commitment to provide Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely solutions that will dramatically increase our capacity to deliver an unprecedented caliber of transparency and accountability to our donors, members, strategic partners, and the community. [ Learn More ]

April 11, 2018 - An update from Cassandra Campbell re: Recent Board Changes

Subject: The Beginning of a new chapter for RCDRC

Dear Partners in Recovery:

I am pleased to announce today that the Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee [RCDRC] has been engaged in a series of actions that will prayerfully steer Robeson County's Long Term Recovery Group [LTRG] towards a more constructive and productive path going forward. During yesterday's LTRG meeting the membership voted to remove the current board of directors in an effort to demonstrate that this community is dedicated to developing a functional, responsible, and accountable long term recovery group that is focused on efficiently and effectively addressing the needs of disasters survivors while working transparently, cooperatively and constructively with our local, state, and federal stakeholders. [ Learn More! ]

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WBTW News 13: 2.27.2017 - Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee Funds at Risk

[ Read Excerpt Below, and click here for full article and video ]

Casssandra Campbell the Executive Director of Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee (RCDRC) says a change with the fiscal agent has now put the Hurricane Matthew recovery effort in jeopardy. Campbell says more than $ 100, 000 in grant funds from several different agencies may be in danger. Campbell says the group has lost three case managers last week after the split, now they have just one until the end of March.

The United Way of Robeson County agreed to be the RCDRC fiscal agent (or sponsor) until the RCDRC moved to become a nonprofit group of its own. As the fiscal agent, the United Way would assist by accepting grant funds for the RCDRC. Last Friday, the United Way decided to part ways with the RCDRC.

Letricua Freeman, the United Way Director says the RCDRC board failed to meet 3 or 4 deadlines to become its own charity. “We have to honor deadlines and hold people accountable to the residents of our county and other people are looking at us to be good stewards,” said Freeman. Freeman says, the RCDRC board did not begin the nonprofit application with the IRS until last November but the first extension was given in August. “There were concerns. When we would ask about the paperwork they couldn’t provide. They would just tell us they had applied for it but they couldn’t tell us it would be granted in this amount of time or anything to show they were actively working on that,” said Freeman.

Campbell says now it’s on the RCDRC board to either find another fiscal agent or become a nonprofit quickly. “My heart is broken because it didn’t have to happen,” said Campbell. “ rving one of the highest poverty areas. These individuals need our help. We’ve committed ourselves to helping them in this recovery. We knew it was a long-term effort. We know we have challenges but we need to work together.”

James Martin, the RCDRC Board Treasurer says it expects to become a nonprofit organization soon. Martin says there is no set date or timeline at this time, but the group has received feedback from the IRS. At this time the group is not looking for another fiscal agent or sponsor. Tuesday, the RCDRC board discussed buying out Campbell’s contract during a special meeting. Campbell’s contract was originally paid for with a $50,000 grant. Martin says no action was taken.

Robesonian: 2.7.2018 - Wreck kills 2 from faith-based group helping with Matthew recovery

Two missionaries of the Amish-Mennonite ministry were killed in a single-vehicle accident on Tuesday afternoon. The driver was not seriously injured and two additional passengers are being treated at McLeod Hospital in Florence, South Carolina, and their conditions were not known Wednesday evening. [ Learn More ]

Open Call for Youth Preparedness Council Applications

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. Applications are due March 18th, 2018. [ Learn More ]

    • * Please note the new location of the Intake Center! *
    • 405 Dunn Road
    • Lumberton, NC 28358
    • Open 8:15 - 5:15pm, Monday - Friday

Recovery funds for small businesses available

Robesonian | Initiative Capital, N.C. Community Development Initiative’s certified community development finance institution, is making as much as $15 million in low-interest, flexible capital available to small businesses in any North Carolina county affected by Hurricane Matthew, wildfires or other natural disasters. For more information, contact Tara Campbell, senior vice president for Lending, at tcampbell@ncinitiative.org or 919-835-6002. Learn More

Visit ReBuild.nc.gov and check out:

  • Disaster Recovery Tracker - Learn more about the allocation of federal and state resources that been
    • made available for Hurricane Matthew recovery;
  • NC's Hurricane Matthew Response & Recovery - Learn what has been done in the first year after
    • Hurricane Matthew struck, and what work remains

The Robesonian: Mayor details Matthew recovery

The following is a speech that Lumberton Mayor Bruce Davis before the 12th Night Concert of Healing and Hope at First Baptist Church, which was held to celebrate the recovery since Hurricane Matthew. The Robesonian believed the message was worthy of sharing with our readers. It has been slightly edited with the mayor’s permission — editor. [ Learn More ]

Home fires occur more in winter than in any other season. As you stay cozy and warm this winter season, be fire smart!

There are many disaster survivors that are still working diligently to recover. Some are living in homes that are on waiting lists to be repaired or rebuilt as a result of floodwater inundation and/or severe water damage from leaky roofs. Seek professional guidance to determine if water or moisture damage could have affected electrical wiring, utility boxes, outlets, duct work, heating air & cooling units, insulation, and more.

Click here to learn more!

Robeson County just starting to rebuild 1 year after Hurricane Matthew

WSOC-TV : October 17, 2017 | Video: The flooding from Hurricane Matthew may be long gone, but the storm’s destruction is still felt every day. Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon returned to eastern North Carolina one year later and found the area is just starting to recover.

Stephanie Chavis, emergency services director for Robeson County, said there are instances in which people can't afford to rebuild. “(The) tax value on that home may have gone down over time," Chavis said. Those people who have relocated have lost almost everything in their homes, and there is a great need for new or slightly used furniture.

New local government groups are now set up to help people replace all that was washed away, but it's hard to keep up.

[ Click here to watch video & learn more ]

FEMA investigating scam that targets Hurricane Matthew victims

WBTW News 13: October 9, 2017 | A man named James is using the telephone number (202) 309-4417 to contact FEMA victims insisting that they purchase used mobile homes. He warns that if they don’t, they will have to turn over the FEMA money they received to fix up their homes. He is also telling them that he has already found the used trailer they need to purchase and they must give him the money to close the deal. This man is not employed by FEMA and no one has any idea if he is working with someone or alone, according to the post.

[ Learn More ]

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1 year later: Robeson County residents remember Hurricane Matthew

WBTW News 13: October 9, 2017 | On Sunday, The Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee hosted a one-year anniversary event to remember the destruction of Hurricane Matthew. Residents and several others gathered together to sing, rejoice and remember the damage done by Hurricane Matthew. [ Learn more ]

Sign-up continues to chip in with Cooper

Robesonian: October 4, 2017 | People are asked to register in advance, either as an individual or as a team. Supervisors from long-term recovery teams will be on hand to guide volunteers on what needs to be done. Locally, the NC Baptist Men Disaster Relief organization, which has been in the county since shortly after the storm, will direct the effort.

3 local representatives picked for recovery committee

Robesonian: September 25, 2017 | Three members of Robeson County’s state House delegation have been appointed to a committee tasked with studying hurricane recovery and flood preparedness, according to information from the House speaker’s office.

The committee will collect information that can be used to help state and local governments put in place resources and policies they need to be prepared for natural disasters, he said. Being prepared mitigates the amount of damage and suffering caused by natural disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew.

“Lumberton wasn’t prepared,” Pierce said.

The committee’s findings also can be used to help residents be prepared, he said. Proper preparation can help increase people’s chances of survival and reduce their recovery time and expenses. “Citizens need to be aware of things that need to be in place,” Pierce said. [ Learn More ]

N.C. must prepare for era of giant storms

News & Observer - September 12, 2017 | On the side of hurricane response, the state also is losing ground. Nearly a year after Hurricane Matthew flooded much of eastern North Carolina, the state still needs $500 million to for rebuilding.

[ Learn more ]

Pittenger gets earful at forum

Robesonian - August 30, 2017 | "Victims of Hurricane Matthew [are] also hurting, Lumberton Councilman Chris Howard said. 'I have toured the affected areas and visited the county many times,' Pittenger said. 'I am on your side. I am disappointed. I am trying to focus all the resources I can, and I’m sorry it takes so long.' ” [ Learn more ]


Disaster recovery center closing Aug. 31

Schools try to get handle on use of FEMA dollars

Chronicling A Forgotten Disaster: Hurricane Matthew, 10 Months Later

Flood waters rush near a car


There will be Another Disaster

Robesonian - August 10, 2017 | " Lumberton can expect another disaster similar to Hurricane Matthew. That was the message given to Lumberton City Council Wednesday by a consultant working on the city’s Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative plan. “There will be another disaster. I bet my life on it,” said Lincoln Walther, a veteran hurricane recovery consultant from Florida. “I bet you will be hit again in 30 years.”

[ Click here to learn more! ]

Fayobserver.com | Final Report: Forecasters 'caught by surprise' by flooding

RCDRC Spreads Word on WAGR

Ms. Cassandra Campbell [ Executive Director, RCDRC ] helped to spread the news that "Every Disaster Survivor Needs a Disaster Case Manager" on WAGR 1340 AM during an interview with Rev. Matthews and Rev. Alford.

The on air segment featured a relevant, thoughtful Q & A session on variety of disaster recovery topics including home repair and rebuild efforts, emotional distress, mold growth in homes and apartments, services for the elderly and disabled, options available to home owners and renters, volunteer opportunities, ongoing and emerging unmet needs and more! [ Learn More ]

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Robesonian: Tribe, FEMA sign pact

"Libby Turner, a FEMA coordinating officer, said her agency will work closely with the tribe in developing long-term planning for hurricane recovery and bringing in the resources to meet local needs." “We work in partnerships, and that includes philanthropy, foundations and volunteers,” she said. Turner said that FEMA places an emphasis on determining and addressing the needs of individual communities. “We try to understand the needs of the community and not just provide the assistance that law requires,” she said. [ Learn More! ]

[ Update: This event has been temporarily postponed due to Hurricane Harvey, Irma & Maria Response. Stay tuned for more details ]

Help Save Lives in Our Community! This fall, the Red Cross will launch Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events nationwide. Volunteers will install 100,000 free smoke alarms in high risk neighborhoods, culminating in the installation of the one millionth smoke alarm!

[ Learn More! ]

ARC: Sound The Alarm Campaign

RCDRC News | August 3, 2017 Special thanks to The Public Schools of Robeson County (PSRC) and RCDRC Volunteers Ms. Sequoyah Williams and Tian Promla for helping us to spread the word at the PSRC Back to School Celebration on August 3, 2017 at the Southeastern Agricultural Center in Lumberton. Each year thousands of parents, caregivers, students, and volunteers from PSRC and the community attend the district’s annual Back to School Celebration that provides free bags packed with school supplies and other resources for students, parents and teachers.

[ Click here to learn more! ]

UNC Chapel Hill Online Survey: A Study on Impact & Community Response to Hurricane Matthew

WBTW.com | "The University of North Carolina is conducting a study in Robeson and Cumberland Counties to understand how Hurricane Matthew affected residents. If you lived in either county during the hurricane, you’re 18 and older and you can speak English, you’re eligible to participate. The online survey will take less than 15 minutes and is anonymous. Information gathered will help develop resources to address future NC disasters."

Click here to learn more!

Govenor.NC.gov | More than 300 FEMA employees are still in North Carolina working closely with NC Emergency Management officials and local partners to help families and communities recover from Matthew. Gov. Cooper continues to work with the state’s congressional delegation to secure more recovery help for North Carolina. [ Click here to learn more! ]

Access tools and resources to prepare for hurricanes, floods, and other disasters!