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Florence May Be Over, But the Recovery Is Just Beginning for Teachers

disaster recovery

Although it’s been weeks since Hurricane Florence struck North and South Carolina, teachers across the region are just now starting to get back to their classrooms to identify the damage.

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Understanding the impact

“We have been out of school for three weeks because of the horrible flooding from Hurricane Florence. I haven't even seen my classroom yet because they are still trying to clean up and make the buildings safe for everyone's return.“ – Mrs. Oclair, Lumberton N.C.

Teachers are reporting extensive flooding at many schools, which means destroyed books, technology, furniture, and supplies. And that’s just what we know for sure. In the worst-hit areas, teachers haven’t been able to get back into their classrooms, so the extent of the damage is completely unknown. At the same time, teachers are dealing with the impact of the storm in their own communities, and on their students, colleagues, and families.

“Many of our students lost everything during Hurricane Florence, including any books they had. Our community and families are rebuilding and trying to return to some sense of normalcy.” – Ms. Keith, Havelock N.C.

As we’ve learned from visiting schools after disasters like Hurricane Harvey and the 2016 Louisiana floods, every natural disaster is different. Some teachers will be heading back to damaged schools, some will be crowding into a nearby school, and some will be in community spaces (like churches or libraries) without basic school necessities.

“Hurricane Florence decimated my students' homes and communities, and I want to give them something to smile about as they return to school and our regular routine.” – Mrs. Grady, New Bern, N.C.

Teachers need your support to rebuild

In the coming weeks, we’ll help teachers at impacted schools create projects for the disaster recovery materials they need. When you donate to the Hurricane Florence Recovery Fund on DonorsChoose.org, we’ll use that money to support teachers at schools that have been severely impacted by the storm and teachers who are supporting students who have been individually impacted. Your donations will help make sure teachers and students can get back to learning as quickly as possible.

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Teachers, if you’ve been impacted by the storm, read the five lessons we’ve learned from past disasters and head to our help center to get support or report a damaged school.

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