Disaster preparedness expo provides the community with resources to ‘survive the storm’

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — At Burgaw Middle School, there was an event with the goal to help thousands as hurricane season approaches. 

Officials warn the community to prepare now, so that when a natural disaster does strike, you and your loved ones are ready. 

Several agencies came together on Saturday to help Pender County be ready for hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

Pender Long Term Recovery Group’s Director, Gio Simpson, said – yes, he and his team help to prepare the community ahead of time, and aid those in need after a hurricane. But he wants to highlight the continued care his team provides for those impacted, even years after the fact. 

“I hear stories everyday about ‘I’m still out of my house,’ or ‘don’t have furniture,’ or all these types of things,” Gio Simpson, Pender Long Term Recovery Group’s Director said. 

“These resilience events are made to help people get all the things that they need.” 

There were booths at the event providing information and emergency kits to the public. 

One organization in particular provides clothing and furniture entirely free for those in need. 

“This is a pretty good drive down here for us — about three and a half hours or so but if we knew there was a family that had been burned or had been flooded or something like that. And we received a call, ‘we have a family of 5, they have nothing,’ we would try to pull together whatever we could, and we would bring it down here if they needed it,” Henry Byrum, President of Christ’s Closet of North Carolina Inc. said. 

Dozens of other area partners attended, all sharing the same mission to prepare and connect citizens of Pender County with the resources needed to stay safe. 

Simpson urges those in the community to, again, not wait until it happens to you but to equip yourself now with the proper resources to successfully and safely survive the storm.