We have deployed to North Carolina to assess the damage from Hurricane Florence and determine the biggest needs of the hardest-hit communities. We anticipate providing emergency cash aid to families so they can purchase what they need most.Donate now
UPDATE: Responding to Hurricane Florence
We are distributing solar lanterns in several communities in the eastern areas of North Carolina hardest hit by Florence last week, with an emphasis on reaching vulnerable families.
We've distributed 50 solar lanterns in Lumberton, 50 in New Bern, 150 in Havelock, 50 in Wilmington and 200 in Jacksonville, N.C. Many of the towns are still threatened by floodwaters from nearby rivers yet to crest, and many are considered actively at risk of continued flooding.
In Lumberton, some 200 people were taking shelter at the local high school. It has already lost power twice, and many people are there because they still do not have power at home. The lanterns are in public areas to allow people to recharge their phones.
"The rains have may have stopped, but the floodwaters upstream have to go somewhere," says Jill Morehead, Mercy Corps’ Emergency Response Team Leader. "All that water that fell in central North Carolina over last weekend is now flowing downstream into South Carolina and towards the east and the Atlantic. People are still in danger of losing power and suffering property damage."
According to news reports, at least 45 people have died. The aftermath of the storm in North Carolina has left thousands of dead fish washed up along highways, imperiled coal ash storage and caused hog waste to spill out of lagoons.
Following natural disasters, we often collaborate with other organizations and local governments to meet the immediate needs of those most affected and lay the groundwork for lasting transformation. For Hurricane Florence, we are working with Team Rubicon to help those affected. Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to deploy emergency response teams rapidly.
In addition to solar-powered lanterns, we anticipate distributing prepaid debit cards to residents of the hardest hit areas so they can buy food and other needed items as they return home.
We are committed to empowering people around the world to survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. Recognized as a leader in delivering rapid, lifesaving aid to hard-hit communities, we have responded to almost every global emergency in the past 20 years, including the Nepal earthquakes (2015), Philippines typhoon (2013), the Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011), Horn of Africa drought and hunger crisis (2010) and Kashmir earthquake (2005). We were also one of the first responders to the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Haiti earthquake (2010).
Our U.S. efforts
We're proud to call Portland, Oregon home of our global headquarters, and we also have offices in Washington, D.C. and Cambridge, MA. We partner with our team members around the world to help people survive crises, overcome adversity and transform their lives. Learn more about our global work ▸
Though much of Mercy Corps’ work takes places internationally, we’re also committed to achieving our mission close to home. Our local projects focus on fostering strong, productive and informed communities right here in the Pacific Northwest.
And our global emergency response team stands at the ready to respond to disasters across the U.S. in times of extreme need, such as after Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
While most of our work focuses on international responses, we do respond to domestic disasters in moments of extreme crisis. Given the monumental scale of destruction and the overwhelming needs, Mercy Corps has been working hard to support relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
We also supported several organizations that helped communities in Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey. We primarily focused on helping organizations that have a deep history in the Houston area working with vulnerable, at-risk and under-served populations.
Our U.S. programs include:
- Mercy Corps Action Center: Hosting exhibits, lectures and youth workshops that bring our global programs to life and educate the local community about issues affecting our world. Learn more about the Action Center, located in our global headquarters ▸
- Mercy Corps Northwest: Supporting local small business development and helping underserved populations build stronger lives. Find out more about Mercy Corps Northwest, our local economic development nonprofit ▸
- MicroMentor: Connecting budding entrepreneurs with established mentors, and offering business leaders an opportunity to volunteer their expertise. Learn about MicroMentor, a free social network for business mentorship ▸
- Emergency response: Bolstering local agencies’ response to domestic disasters. Directly distributing cash and essential supplies such as water filters and solar lanterns to help families in urgent need survive and recover.
United States: Carmen's story: Recovering from disaster by rebuilding the past
Puerto Rico's most vulnerable residents continue to deal with hardship one year after Hurricane Maria, but with your help, we're building beyond disaster.
United States: Accelerating Puerto Rico’s economic recovery with Google volunteers
In partnership with Google, Mercy Corps is working in Puerto Rico to help small business owners - and the natural areas they rely on - recover from Hurricane Maria.
United States: In the news: Adopting a new humanitarian strategy
In a piece featured in The Nation, Mercy Corps' Senior Global Policy Advisor Madeline Rose calls for the United States to re-examine its global humanitarian strategy by focusing on violence reduction and conflict prevention.
United States: 8 months after Hurricane Maria, another hurricane season looms in Puerto Rico
Karla Peña, resilience program manager in Puerto Rico, shares how people are recovering from Hurricane Maria as they also prepare for the new hurricane season.
United States: Quick facts: Hurricane Maria's effect on Puerto Rico
Get the quick facts about how Puerto Rico has been affected by Hurricane Maria, what Mercy Corps and partners are doing, and how you can help.
What Maria left behind
Two months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, it's easy to be overwhelmed by what has been lost. But the story of these communities is found instead in what has been left behind.
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Each day our team works with the World Central Kitchen team to pack up and distribute about 500 meals to hard-hit communities in Puerto Rico.
United States: Providing cash to Puerto Ricans in need
Three weeks after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, families are still in desperate need of basic supplies. Mercy Corps is providing emergency cash cards so people can buy what they need most.
United States: Our first days in Puerto Rico: An on-the-ground report
Members of our emergency response team are now on the ground in Puerto Rico and assessing the situation to see how we can best support local efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance.
United States: Helping families heal after Hurricane Harvey
Mercy Corps is proudly supporting several organizations helping communities in Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey.