Disaster/Environmental Emergency: Hurricane Matthew | North Carolina
Impact on Tribe: In October, 2016, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina was severely devastated by flooding related to Hurricane Matthew. The tribal members were evacuated to shelters. “Families were left homeless or without electricity, and businesses were destroyed… Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin said that due to bursting dikes and dams, about 50,000 people were affected, even though the hurricane had weakened to a Category 1 by the time it hit the state” of North Carolina. Those most affected include “middle-class working families who have lost all their life’s accumulation,” Godwin said. “It’s going to be an ongoing process for a long time.”
PWNA Aid Requested: On Oct. 11, emergency aid was requested in the form of cleaning supplies and personal hygiene kits, to immediately assist families with clean up and displacement from their homes. PWNA coordinated its response with Matt Locklear/Emergency Management Director and Danielle McClain of the Lumbee Tribe, as well as Rusty Devaneaux/Red Cross tribal liaison.
PWNA Disaster Response:
PWNA was supported in its disaster response effort by the Walmart Foundation, which provided $25,000 for supplies, and by the UPS Foundation, which provided nearly $12,000 in shipping support.
Other: All tribes in North Carolina are state-recognized except for the Eastern Band of Cherokee. However, even tribes that are not federally recognized may now apply for federal disaster aid, if their county is part of their state’s declaration request to FEMA. In the case of Hurricane Matthew, the Lumbee Tribe made this choice and guided local residents impacted by the storm on how to apply for FEMA aid.