HDR Deployment: South Carolina 2016

2016 witnessed the first deployment of FBB’s highly anticipated Humanist Disaster Recovery (HDR) Teams program. To support this program, please donate here.

The October 2015 North American storm complex brought a high precipitation cold front across the United States, stalling along the Eastern coast, tapping into moisture from nearby Hurricane Joaquin as it hit the Bahamas, and developing a surface low just east of the Florida/Georgia border. This event led to one of the most prolific rainfall events in modern history. Rivers and levees breached their banks, washing away road, bridges, and homes. The combination of these elements produced a 1 in 1,000 year event in Columbia, South Carolina, leaving residents who did not qualify for other assistance, reliant on non-profit aid.

Residents are seen as they wait for rescue helicopters at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river, caused by typhoon Etau, in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 10, 2015. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo
Photo credit: Daily Released

Partnered with secular organization, St. Bernard Project, HDR Teams deployed 19 volunteers from seven states and contributed 554 hours of service providing $12,104.90 worth of donated time to the affected region. Volunteers worked on demolition, mold remediation, drywall installation, mudding, sanding, and priming homes in the area.

Location: Columbia, SC

Dates of Deployment: January 2nd 2016 - January 9th 2016

Type of Disaster: Flood

Partner: St. Bernard Project

Number of volunteers: 19

Number of hours donated: 554

HDR Teams is an evidence-based program, and as such, grows very carefully as tested through volunteer experiences on the ground. During this first deployment, volunteers not only contributed their time toward recovery efforts, but also took part in nightly meetings to assist in shaping the future of HDR Teams. This feedback was later incorporated into HDR Teams documentation and training, in preparation for HDR Teams’ second deployment in 2017.