The deadline is fast- approaching for a health center in Williamsburg County to collect information from survivors of the October 2015 flood. Hope Health and the American Red Cross are looking for people in the area who are experiencing specific complications from mold. The information they collect will help residents get the medical care they need and potentially lead to more resources to help them fully recover the historic event.
When the deadline for the survey passes, many flood victims would have been living with mold for more than one year and eight months.
"It really is critical to share the information to participate in the survey", said Hope Health’s Population Health Manager Tammy Garris. “We unfortunately do regret that we’re not able to help everybody restore their home and help everybody bring their home into a more livable condition, but their health is critically important.”
The South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO) oversees grant programs that focus on rebuilding or repairing homes damaged by severe weather events. The office is currently overseeing three programs: the October 2015 Storm Recovery, Palmetto Disaster Recovery, case management for the Office’s third program, Hurricane Matthew.
As of June 22, the office placed 193 families in new or renovated homes and released 505 award letters for the repair or replacement of homes affected by the October 2015 storm. South Carolina Public Radio spoke with Williamsburg County resident Alberta McClary, during the recent Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) event in Kingstree. McClary said she is one of those residents waiting to receive a new home, she also completed a Hope Health survey.
"I think November, I got sick one night and woke up. I could hardly breathe. I needed to catch air," McClary said.
That night, McClary said she went to a local emergency room and received three breathing treatments because her "lungs were so weak."
About Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
Video: Hundreds of Williamsburg County residents received vouchers as part of the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. Vouchers can be used until mid-October for the purchase of locally grown fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets across the state.
Garris said people who submit information through the survey are already getting much needed help.
"We are providing them now with educational materials to help them understand better what cleanup needs to happen and how to accomplish that cleanup."
Residents are also getting connected with a primary care physician if they are not already involved with one.
“Just being able to walk up and down the stairs without having a hard time breathing; these are things that can be fixed, but we really need to know the information, she added.”
Information gathered will be complied and given to the American Red Cross. Garris said the data will allow the nonprofit organization to see how wide spread the flood-related mold problem is and begin to formulate a plan as to what can be done for Williamsburg County residents.