Take 5 with Audrey Hart
Audrey Hart is passionate about her work and believes that one should respond to the call to service. In April, Hart, who has worked for many years in case management, politics, and recruiting, was named executive director of the New Hanover Disaster Coalition.
The coalition started in October with a conference call of faith-based and nonprofit leaders after seeing the immediate need to collaborate and coordinate resources in response Hurricane Florence, which made landfall September 14 and caused significant flooding in the area.
The coalition, which currently has seventy collaborative community partners, has a mission “to connect residents with resources that aid in disaster readiness, response, and recovery.”
|Take 5 with Audrey Hart|
What drew you to take this role?
“… My passion to help coordinate efforts to help the community. The community has a lot of needs, and we have great resources, so my passion to connect the two is a happy balance.”
What’s the greatest need still here for recovering from Hurricane Florence?
“We still have a great need of housing repairs and rebuilding. There is also a big need for furniture since a lot of it was molded from water, and it gets expensive quickly to buy new.”
How do you think the community is better prepared now to handle a major storm?
“The main way that we are better prepared is because we now know who everyone is and what we are all doing. We have created a network of community members to better communicate resources in preparation and response. We are working with the county and county emergency management for the emergency plans to continue to improve and grow.”
In what ways do you think we’re still not ready?
“We are still treading water – metaphorically – to reach the people that are still recovering and providing them with resources. There are still thousands of people displaced from the storm, and another storm would be disheartening this quickly.”
What do you keep in your emergency kit at home?
“My emergency kit includes a hand-crank, solar, and battery radio that can also charge my phone, a first-aid kit, an adult coloring book with colored pencils, battery packs, protein shake mix, batteries, lantern, hand sanitizer, case of water for me and my dog, the daily things for my dog. When I see something in the news that could come here, I add my daily personal items like toiletries, change of clothes, nonperishable food, important documents in a Ziploc bag, and se ntimental items that I want to save.”