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Red Cross cautions residents of the dangers of disaster fatigue

Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew
Disaster fatigue is a phenomenon that occurs when an individual, family or community is faced with a string of crises

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., October 14, 2016 – More than a week ago Hurricane Matthew devastated many residents of South Carolina, leaving them without food and shelter. This has been even more overwhelming for some families that were also impacted by flooding more just a year ago.

"Disaster fatigue is a phenomenon that occurs when an individual, family or community is faced with a string of crises, as in the case of the neighborhoods of South Carolina who have had storm after storm and flood after flood," says Louise Welch Williams, Regional CEO for the Red Cross in South Carolina. "The emotional strain around having to rebuild lives is difficult enough the first time, but doing it over again compounds the stress."

The families who come to the Red Cross are dealing with the challenges in different ways. Often people under stress feel physically and mentally drained and get frustrated more quickly and more often. But there are some things people can do to cope with events over which they have no control:

  • It’s important to eat properly and maintain a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and get some rest.
  • Staying connected with friends and family is important because getting support reduces that feeling of being alone.
  • Be patient with those around you and recognize that everyone is stressed and may need time to put their feelings and thoughts in order.
  • Remain positive and remember having successfully gone through other tough times, and reach out when support is support is needed and help others when they need it.
  • The Red Cross response to Hurricane Matthew in South Carolina continues.


    The Red Cross and its partners have shelters across South Carolina for residents who are evacuating from the coastal areas. These shelters provide a safe, place for people to stay until they are able to safely return home:

    Beaufort - Sea Island Presbyterian Church, 81 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort, SC

    Williamsburg - Kingstree Recreation Center, 375 Nelson Blvd., Kingstree, SC

    Horry - Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2105 Hwy 501 East, Conway, SC

    Florence - Highland Park United Methodist Church, 1300 Second Loop Road, Florence, SC

    Dillon/Marion - National Guard Armory, 1018 Gilcrest Street, Mullens, SC


    Meals are provided free of charge at the following locations and times:

    Dillon County

  • 5:30 - 109 E. Bamberg Rd, Latta, SC
  • 5:30 - 205 N. Main St., Lakeview, SC
  • Marion County

  • 6:00 - National Guard Armory, 1018 Gilcrest Street, Mullens, SC

  • 5:30 - St Helena Elementary School - 1025 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island, SC
  • 5:30 - 1800 Prince St. in Beaufort, SC
  • 5:30 - Dollar General parking lot – 3424 South O’Katie Hwy, Hardeeville, SC

  • 5:30 - Cross Community Center – 1690 Old Hwy 6 Cross, SC
  • 5:30 - 1460 Colonel Maham Drive, Pineville, SC
  • 5:30 - 2173 Santee River Rd, St Stephen, SC

  • 5:30 - Saint Center Ministry-106 Colson Street, Walterboro, SC

  • 5:30 - 1336 Cohen Drive, Hemmingway, SC

  • 5:30 - Kingstree Recreation Center – 423 School Street, Kingstree, SC
  • 5:30 - Hemmingway Fire Department, 110 Main Street, Hemmingway, SC

    The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting, calling 1-800-REDCROSS, or text “RedCross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

    For more updates, follow the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RedCrossSC


    We strongly encourage eligible donors unaffected by the storm to please give blood or platelets now to help ensure we have a readily available blood supply for patients in need. Appointments can be made using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossSC