Hurricane Florence: Potential Impact and Relief Efforts

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Waccamaw Community Foundation Provide Relief Fund for Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH/MURRELLS INLET, S.C.: September 10, 2018 – The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) in partnership with the Waccamaw Community Foundation, a philanthropic institution serving Horry and Georgetown Counties, administers the “Help The Grand Strand” disaster recovery fund to provide relief and recovery support for our community.

Recognizing the need to keep efforts within the local community, the fund was initiated by the Area Recovery Cooperative, Inc. (ARC) after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 to allow individuals and businesses to help those in need. Money raised does not go directly to individuals, but is granted to local nonprofit agencies providing specific human relief needs for local citizens.

“We are pleased to have an ongoing relationship with the Waccamaw Community Foundation so when the need arises, we can seamlessly activate plans that will immediately help the community,” said Karen Riordan, President and CEO of the MBACC. “We sincerely hope that damage caused by hurricane Florence is minimal, but we must be prepared to provide relief to those who may be negatively impacted by the storm.”

During and after a disaster, when damage is being assessed, immediate relief will be available for both coastal and inland residents of Horry and Georgetown Counties who are impacted most. Ongoing fundraising then assists with longer-term recovery efforts.

As of today, we know that no matter the path of Hurricane Florence or where she makes landfall, families and businesses in our communities or neighboring communities will be impacted in profound ways.

In anticipation of the potential effects of Hurricane Florence, the disaster recovery fund is now accepting donations. The funds collected for the “Help The Grand Strand” disaster recovery fund will be used for human services that may be unmet, enabling the residents of the entire Grand Strand area to recover as quickly as possible.

“In times of struggle when the community comes together, Waccamaw Community Foundation is here to provide trustworthy philanthropic services,” said Ruell Hicks, WCF Board Chair. “We work year-round with local nonprofits and vet new organizations, providing expert grantmaking administration for communities in Horry and Georgetown Counties.”


1.     Mail a check
Make your check payable to Waccamaw Community Foundation. In the memo line of your check, specify “Help The Grand Strand” disaster recovery fund.

Mail to:
Waccamaw Community Foundation
3655 S. Highway 17 Business
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

2.     Pay by phone
Call WCF at 1-843-357-4483, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In case of evacuation, additional information about phone bank opportunities and TEXT-TO-DONATE will be added to the WCF website’s Disaster Relief webpage.

3.     Pay Online
Click here to learn more and process your payment online. Please specify “Help The Grand Strand” disaster recovery fund in the Designation drop-down menu. Your generous donation offers assistance to local citizens in the area impacted by the hurricane. The fund also helps ensure the swift and efficient economic recovery of the Grand Strand area that you and millions of visitors come to enjoy year after year.

You may also designate a donation to the Georgetown County Disaster Relief Fund which provides support specifically for Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties. This fund was created as part of The Emergency Operations Plan among partner organizations Waccamaw Community Foundation, Black River United Way, Salvation Army of Georgetown County, and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Its purpose is to aggregate giving within the local community and administer grants to local nonprofit agencies providing specific human relief needs for local citizens.

Learn more at

About Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce:

Since 1938, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has stood as the unified voice of the Grand Strand's business community. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded the MBACC its five-star accreditation, one of only few chambers in South Carolina to earn this distinction. The MBACC serves Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Little River, Atlantic Beach, Garden City Beach, Loris, Conway, Aynor, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island, Socastee and Carolina Forest. For more information, visit

About Waccamaw Community Foundation:

Waccamaw Community Foundation seeks to improve quality of life across Horry and Georgetown Counties by offering individuals, families and organizations the opportunity to establish named charitable funds that support the community through grants and scholarships. Founded in 1999, Waccamaw Community Foundation connects people with the causes they care about, provides personalized service and helps donors leave a lasting legacy. To learn more visit or call (843) 357-4483.
Waccamaw Community Foundation is an affiliate organization of Coastal Community Foundation



  • - If you do not have flood insurance and are seeking federal assistance, your first step is to contact FEMA, as their assistance comes in the form of grants, which do not need to be paid back. Register online at , call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or visit a Disaster Assistance Center in your area. SBA disaster loans are an important part of the recovery process because they provide eligible homeowners, renters and businesses with access to the funds they need to rebuild, particularly when damages are not covered by insurance or other forms of assistance.Homeowners and renters should apply as soon as possible after the disaster, even if you're not sure you'll need or want a loan. If SBA cannot approve your application, in most cases we will immediately refer you back to FEMA to be considered for additional assistance. Individuals seeking assistance can apply online at, in person, once SBA Disaster Recovery Centers open, and by mail. Call 1-800-659-2955 or email at Additional information is available at
    • S.C. Emergency Management Division - Website provides a list of various federal agencies with programs to help you recover from disasters. 
    • U.S. Small Business Administration - SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes to repair or replace damaged or destroyed business assets (property, equipment, inventory, etc.) 

    • U.S. Economic Development Administration - EDA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have funds to be used for establishing local, post-disaster revolving loan programs. A list of federal agencies and their economic development-related programs provides more information. 
    • IRS - Offers tax relief to businesses affected by federally declared disasters. 

    • Help the Grand Strand - Your generous donation offers assistance to local citizens in the Myrtle Beach area impacted by disasters. 

    • Impact Ministries along with the Waccamaw VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) have partnered to assist homeowners in Horry County that experience damage due to Hurricane Florence. After the storm is over and homeowners have a chance to safely assess their properties, they can visit  to request assistance, volunteer or donate. Upon submitting the application, homeowners will receive a response and assessors will be sent out as soon as it is safe to do so. It is important to fill out the application as soon as possible, after the storm, to receive assistance. For more information, contact VOAD in the Horry County Emergency Operations Center at 843-915-5908.
    • 2-1-1 One-stop resource for finding assistance. This resource run by United Way is available 24/7 by calling 211, 1-866-892-9211 or by visiting them online at
    • United Way - United Ways across the region are helping those facing the devastating effects of hurricanes 
    • American Red Cross - A financial donation makes the most immediate impact Salvation Army - Your support helps the Salvation Army stay on the front lines of hurricane relief efforts 
    • Catholic Charities - Your generosity will allow Catholic Charities to provide much needed aid and assistance