Residents navigate through elevated flood waters.

Millions of people in the Carolinas and beyond were affected by Hurricane Florence, which hit in September 2018. Disaster preparedness and response are a core part of public health, and we at the Gillings School want to be part of solutions. We have joined forces with efforts organized through the University to continue responding to this disaster.

We will update this page regularly to reflect current needs and opportunities . We also encourage you to visit the Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief page at the Carolina Center for Public Service for campus-wide information.

Interested in volunteering as part of Gillings School efforts?
Contact us so we can get organized!

Already volunteering?
We want to hear from you! Thank you for responding to this brief survey so we can get the word out about your efforts and better coordinate our disaster recovery efforts.

We welcome your donations! The Gillings School is supporting the campus-wide donation drive organized through the Carolina Center for Public Service. Please look for the bins placed around our buildings.

Monetary donations help with immediate, unmet needs. Consider donating to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund set up by the N.C. Governor’s Office; the UNC Disaster Relief Fund managed by the Carolina Center for Public Service, which supports student, staff and faculty relief trips to affected areas; or the charity of your choice. If you are not familiar with a charity, please research it carefully to ensure that your donation will actually support hurricane victims.

Are you a member of the Gillings School or UNC-Chapel Hill who has been affected by Hurricane Florence? The University-wide Student Success Hub for Florence Recovery (the Hub) helps students and families impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael and other natural disasters occurring this semester.  The Hub provides individualized support to currently enrolled students who have been affected in some aspect of their personal, academic and/or financial circumstances. The exact support available depends fully on each student’s unique circumstances.

How people across the Gillings School are contributing:

  • Representation on UNC-Chapel Hill’s response group, sponsored by the Carolina Center for Public Service
  • Donation bin site supporting Robeson and Jones Counties and Coharie and Waccamaw Siouan tribes
  • One-day service trips, with APPLES, in fall, winter and spring of 2018-19
  • Contact with practice partners in 25 local health departments; our state health department; and many response organizations and shelters
  • In dialogue with colleagues at UNC-Wilmington’s College of Health and Human Services to identify ways we can support recovery efforts there.
  • With a $25,000 grant from UNC’s North Carolina Policy Collaboratory, together with a separate award from UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt, Rachel Noble, PhD, Mary and Watts Hill Jr. Distinguished Professor of marine sciences and environmental sciences and engineering, is researching Hurricane Florence contamination of estuarine and coastal systems. Using samples collected from Stewart’s lab, the research will quantify bacterial pathogen in the water. Researchers are also looking at pathogens in shellfish from local harvesting waters to determine when it is safe to re-open shellfish harvesting grounds.
  • Jill Stewart, PhD, associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering, received a $10,000 grant from the NC Collaboratory to collect water samples in affected areas. These can shed light on the extent of microbial contamination in flooded areas and to provide insight into which sources are significant contributors to the contamination, whether human, swine or poultry from dense concentrations of farms in the area.
  • Expertise on infant feeding in shelters
  • Expertise on preparedness and response
  • Hands-on emergency response. Find out more about Gillings MHA student Nate Andrews and his response to the crisis.

Other volunteering opportunities:

  • UNC’s Center for Public Service will host a relief trip in Lumberton, NC on Friday, December 7. The group will leave from UNC’s campus at 7:30 am and return by 6:30 pm. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided. To receive updates from the university on hurricane relief efforts, send your name and email to
  • APPLES Service-Learning is a student-led program at UNC that connects academic learning to public service.
  • Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC serves communities year-round, but also provides critical support after disasters.
  • American Red Cross serves communities in many ways, including providing support after disasters.
  • NC Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NCVOAD) is a group that coordinates with the Governor’s Office. Check their Florence Volunteer Opportunities page for more information.

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