DURHAM, NC, Sept. 13 — As life-threatening Hurricane Florence bears down on North Carolina and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, Zakat Foundation of America disaster relief experts and volunteers stand at high alert, ready to respond.
Zakat Foundation representatives at its Durham, North Carolina center have participated in Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) meetings and coordinated response plans with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s disaster management agency.
“Our staff gained valuable firsthand experience in hurricane relief in North Carolina when Matthew hit almost exactly two years ago,” said Halil Demir, Zakat Foundation’s executive director. “Everything is staged and prepared.”
Working closely with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Zakat Foundation officers now stand by on alert from offices in Delaware and North Carolina, ready to monitor the emergence of high-need areas, in tandem with the broader disaster response network to quickly adapt to fast-changing aid needs.
The Zakat Foundation center in Durham has been designated a distribution center from which tens of thousands of drinking water bottles, food and hygiene packages, and other essentials are ready for emergency distribution.
These first-wave crisis relief provisions make up only stage-one response items for immediate aid. Zakat Foundation stands committed to continue providing help to Hurricane Florence victims throughout recovery operations.
Florence remains a dangerous Category 2 hurricane, which makes it likely to hover for days over land, potentially dumping 20 to 40 inches of rain on communities. Its decreased tropical-storm force winds can still damage homes, other structures, trees, and bring down power lines. Its storm surge, catastrophic flash flooding, and river flooding present acute and ongoing threats to life and the likelihood of water-supply contamination.
A year ago, Hurricane Harvey in Houston, where Zakat Foundation also provided relief, demonstrated the disastrous effects of slow-moving hurricanes like Florence, especially on low-lying areas and infrastructure not built to withstand sustained heavy rainfall.
Zakat Foundation of America
5410 NC Highway 55 Suite AC
Durham, North Carolina 27713
Founded in 2001, Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) helps generous and caring people reach out to those in need. ZF’s mission is to address immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world. ZF conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 50 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.ZAKAT.org.
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