20 Jun VIDEO: Finally Getting a Good Night’s Rest After Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence was a sucker punch of a storm.
Downgraded to “only” a Category 1 hurricane from a Category 4 monster, the storm lingered over the Carolinas for days after it made landfall — and proceeded to dump upwards of 50 inches of rain in some areas.
Across North Carolina, Florence dropped an estimated 8 trillion gallons of water, prompting the National Weather Service to deem it a “1,000-year event.” The extreme weather killed at least 22 people across three Southeastern states, many of them from flood waters, and spawned 44 tornadoes.
Florence also left an estimated $24 billion in damage and flooded thousands of residential dwellings. Nearly a year later, the mud and debris have been cleared, walls replaced, roofs repaired, and families are moving back in. As they return, the last step for many of these residents is to furnish their homes.
That’s where Good360 was able to activate our partnership network to help families take care of one of the most expensive yet crucial items on their list — getting a real bed. At a recent donation event in Myrtle Beach, S.C., we collaborated with Tempur Sealy and IMPACT Ministries to distribute mattresses to 100 families.
Depending on need, each family was allowed up to bring home up to four mattresses. In all, 80 queen and 120 twin Tempur-Pedic mattresses, along with pillows and bedding, were given out at the recent event.
IMPACT Ministries provided us with a critical link to the families since the nonprofit maintains a database of people affected by Hurricane Florence and other disasters in Horry County, which includes Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of beaches along the South Carolina coast. The volunteer-based charity organization, which provides social services to the Myrtle Beach community, maintains an online portal for people seeking disaster assistance at disasterhelp.me. It’s also a member of the Waccamaw VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).
According to Todd Wood, executive director of IMPACT Ministries, the families who came to the donation event had little or no means to purchase their own beds, and have been getting by with whatever they can find, including wooden pallets, sleeping bags or old couches. Some simply slept on the floor.
“One of the most important things for each of us is our sleep at night,” Wood said. “And when a family has lost everything — and for many of these families, it’s the third or fourth time they’ve been through hurricanes and floods in recent years — it’s vitally important that we provide them with a new mattress. We’re so thankful to have these 80 queen and 120 twin mattresses that we can provide for families who still have air mattresses that they’re sleeping on [or] mattresses that went through the flood that are covered in mold, springs hanging out.”
Many of the hurricane survivors have these “devastating stories you just can’t even imagine,” he added. “So with this amazing blessing, we’ve been able to provide families exactly what they needed.”
Extreme flooding can wreak havoc on a home’s furnishings and infrastructure. In some areas, the flood waters from Hurricane Florence leveled out above nine feet. That kind of flooding means all of the carpet, upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding in the house need to be tossed out. Anything that gets soaked through with water will likely become tainted with sewage contaminants or a breeding ground for mold.
For families who have gone through a devastating flood, the road to recovery is a long, hard slog. That’s why Good360 is committed to staying through to the long-term recovery, long after the initial mucking and gutting, and bringing in partners who can help along the way.
“By donating these Tempur-Pedic mattresses,” said Jacob Schisler, senior territory sales manager at Tempur Sealy, “it’s our hope that these folks can go back to school, go back to their jobs, and make sure they’re physically and mentally restored at night and wake up the next morning, ready to attack each day and get back to a sense of normalcy in their lives.”
The donation event held in Myrtle Beach is the first of two that Tempur Sealy and IMPACT Ministries will host to aid this community. The second event is expected to take place within the next two months.
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