How Associations Are Responding to Hurricane Matthew

Associations representing a variety of sectors, from blood banks to electric co-ops, went into overdrive in response to Hurricane Matthew, one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S. in years.

Associations have been busy over the past week, dealing with power outages and assessing damage caused by Hurricane Matthew—the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic in nearly a decade.

The deadly storm, which killed at least 34 people in the United States as it edged up the East Coast, required quick response. And associations were ready to help. Among those that swung into action:

Blood banks urge donations. The American Association of Blood Banks put out a call for donations, saying that cancellations of blood drives potentially threatened lives. “We are asking all potential donors, both current and first-timers, to roll up a sleeve and make a commitment to donate blood as soon as possible,” said Dennis Todd, chair of the AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism.

Electric systems call in reserves. Trade groups representing electric cooperatives mobilized to respond to widespread power outages. Members of the Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives offered assistance in response to the storm, while workers, organized by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, headed east to help with the power-restoration efforts.

Insurers ready to assess claims. Florida may not have been hit as hard as anticipated, but many homes sustained significant damage and owners will need insurance money to repair and rebuild. “Our member companies’ adjusters are on the ground and ready to respond and serve the needs of their policyholders,” said Florida Property and Casualty Association Executive Director William Stander in a news release.

A utility worker repairs a power line in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. (Phelan Ebenhack/Reuters)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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