Hurricane Florence Response

MOVE Providing WiFi access at Lumberton Sr. High

20 SeptemberMOVE relocates and provides much-needed internet access

Today, the new district office was stable with a  normal level of activity. The IEEE MOVE team has now moved the truck to Lumberton NC. This area has been hard hit with flooding. This shelter has about 250 people displaced by the flooding. They have power and cell phone service… but no internet. The team stepped in and is now providing WiFi for the people staying there. In the first 3 hours of services,  69 users logged on and used about 1.6GB of data. The team was told that there are many students in the shelter who need the internet to do their classwork.

Hopefully, the IEEE has made their lives a little easier!


19 September – New tables and chairs finally arrived and the new, headquarters was packed with people today. Our communications systems worked well!

The IEEE Hurricane Florence MOVE team (from left to right): Brian Greene, Grayson Randall, John Balsam, and Jay Diepenbrock

18 September – Today, the team completed preparations in order to move the district headquarters from the hotel to the new, larger facility. When they arrived 5 days ago, the temporary HQ at the hotel had around 25 people. Today they have over 100 volunteers and many more arriving every day. Tomorrow morning everyone will report to the new facility. Thanks to the hard work of many.. they are ready to continue our mission without missing a beat.

John Balsam

John Balsam had the hardest job today… terminating cat 5 network cables that were pulled (a painstaking task). We believe he did 20 connectors with no failures. Great job John!

The team also completed the installation of a 2nd satellite dish to back up the primary system.

Travel in eastern NC is extremely difficult. Anticipated tables and chairs did not arrive today from Atlanta as the trucks were unable to find a route. Many of the Red Cross volunteers are being moved to shelters by national guard high water trucks…. some by helicopter. Tomorrow MOVE volunteers will help get everyone transitioned to our new HQ and then install communications in a warehouse and another Red Cross facility.


Brian Greene and John Balsam

17 September – The team continued to set up the new Headquarters location. Accomplishments included installing a large printer and setting up a satellite dish on the roof of the building to support communications.

Jay Diepenbrock joined the team here in Fayetteville today. We now have 4 IEEE and 2 Red Cross volunteers supporting the site technology.


16 September – Another busy day, heavy rains most of the day….Winds are mostly gone. Today the team started setting up our new HQ facility. Power finally came back on in the late morning.

JR (Red Cross) and John Balsam went to Raleigh to pick up additional equipment from DRO/HQ. Brian Greene and Grayson Randall worked with 2 local volunteers to run cat 5 network cables and power to support 100 Red Cross volunteers projected to work in this office. Lorraine (Red Cross) stayed at the current office to support current volunteers.

Our team of 5 is tasked with setting up the communications infrastructure needed for laptops, phones, printers, and network/satellite communications. They were able set up all this in a couple of days in an empty building.

The team’s district (1 of 5) has 44(?) shelters open to provide food and shelter for those in need. Providing resources required by shelters is very difficult as roads are dynamically closing due to flooding and resource availability is constantly changing. The work the IEEE team is doing in conjunction with our Red Cross partner makes it possible for coordination of this difficult disaster relief operation.


14 September – At-a-glance storm update from weather.com:

  • Hurricane Florence has knocked out power to more than 500,000 homes and businesses statewide.
  • Major structural damage has been reported to homes and businesses in Onslow County.
  • Some 150 people stranded in storm surge were awaiting rescue in New Bern early Friday morning.
  • About 12,000 people are in 126 evacuation shelters, state officials said.

13 September – The MOVE team is currently at a hotel in Fayetteville, NC. For the next few days, this will be a district headquarters until the storm passes. The storm has slowed down, but we are still expecting winds in excess of 60 with gusts over 100mph. The team is currently supporting the Red Cross with network connectivity, laptops, phones, and printers.


12 September – The MOVE truck will be deployed after hurricane Florence landfall as soon as it is safe to enter the area. We expect to be somewhere on the coast where significant damage to the infrastructure is expected. This is dynamic and will be defined as the storm progresses.

  • Grayson Randall (NC), Brian Greene (YP), John Balsam (Atlanta), will be deploying with the truck.
  • Jay Diepenbrock deployed with the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and Mary Ellen Randall deployed with Red Cross Public Affairs.
  • David Wright assisted in some final setup of the MOVE truck in preparation for deployment. Thanks!

10 September – Hurricane Florence is rapidly intensifying and will likely strike the east coast as a major hurricane (category 3 or 4) later this week. Life-threatening storm surge, destructive winds, electrical outages, and major rainfall flooding are expected.

The MOVE team is closely monitoring this situation and is preparing to respond.

If you are in the path of this major hurricane, please take the appropriate steps to stay safe:

Follow this page for updates from the MOVE team as they provide support.


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You Can Help

MOVE is funded by donations like yours. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please consider helping the MOVE Community Outreach program by donating to the cause.

Interested in volunteering? Please visit our volunteer information page.

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