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Press Release

United Way Offers Immediate Hurricane Florence Assistance through 2-1-1, Establishes Recovery Fund

United Way Worldwide announced today that its 2-1-1 service has been reinforced to assist those in the projected path of Hurricane Florence. Additionally, United Way has established The United Way Hurricane Florence Recovery Fund, a national fund which will distribute 100 percent of donations to mid- and long-term recovery efforts in the affected areas in the months and years ahead.

Those in need of immediate assistance may access support services through 2-1-1 in the following ways:

  • Individuals who need assistance ahead of, during and after Hurricane Florence can contact 2-1-1 by simply dialing 211 from a cell phone or landline. 2-1-1 is a free, 24/7 hotline, available in over 180 languages, that provides information to individuals seeking community resources like shelter, food and water, recovery support and other basic needs before, during and after disasters. More information about 2-1-1 can be found at 211.org.
  • Localized Hurricane Florence information and updates are available by texting FLORENCE to 898-211.

The United Way Hurricane Florence Recovery Fund will provide communities with resources to fund their mid- and long-term recovery efforts. The national fund will facilitate the donation process for United Way donors and partners who want to offer financial support to storm victims in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, parts of Georgia and Maryland and additional affected areas. 

“We are deeply concerned about and committed to our communities. There are as many as one hundred United Ways in the projected path of Hurricane Florence,” said Mary Sellers, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “In the face of disaster, United Way is committed to helping communities recover and rebuild to emerge even stronger.”

  • As of 4:00 p.m. today, September 13, more than 1,700 people have texted Florence to 898-211 to receive local information.
  • On Wednesday, September 12, 2-1-1s in North Carolina and South Carolina answered over 670 disaster-related calls.
  • In 2017, in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and other natural disasters, the 2-1-1 network responded to over 800,000 requests for disaster assistance.

United Way fights for the health of communities by supporting mid- and long-term recovery efforts after natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Katrina, the Shasta Fires in California, last year’s earthquakes in Mexico and flooding in India. United Way is laying the ground work for mid- and long-term recovery in the areas affected by Hurricane Florence, which is expected to take several years. The United Way Hurricane Florence Recovery Fund is just one way the organization will continue the fight for every person in every community.

To donate or volunteer, please go to www.unitedway.org. For disaster help, call 211 or visit 211.org.

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About United Way Worldwide
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

About 2-1-1
2-1-1 is a free, confidential service that connects people from all communities to essential health and human services—24 hours a day, seven days a week. 2-1-1 will remain open and ready to provide local information about evacuation routes, shelters, food and water, health resources, and other needs throughout the storm.

Media Contact

Southerlyn Reisig
United Way Worldwide
703-836-7100 ext 321
southerlyn.reisig@uww.unitedway.org