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ARVC Seeks Donations for Hurricane-Damaged Campgrounds

In the chaotic aftermath of a hurricane, repairing the natural settings surrounding a campground can be daunting – but that’s where the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) comes in.

“Flooding is going to be a major issue that our parks and campgrounds have to work through,” said Paula Horowitz, ARVC’s senior director of education and event, “and that can cause structural concerns.”

Landscaping, the general surrounding nature … a flood can erase the ambiance that draws many to these spots in nature, giving less reason to get an RV in the first place.

So far, five parks have reached out for relief funds for damage caused by Hurricane Florence. The ARVC has been able to comply sending out $10,000 in grants.

Park categorize their needs. Sometimes the money is for personal use, such as keeping the lights on in their home or grocery shopping as repairs are made.

“There are parks and campgrounds where they’ve spent years creating an environment for their guests,” said Horowitz. “(The donations) certainly not going to fix everything for them – and the insurance is the saving grace there – but the grants are designed for that interim period. Just enough to keep them going until their insurance can kick in.”

She mentions how it’s important to note that many campgrounds are open during or following a hurricane, whether for RVers or evacuees.

“We have that community that comes together and opens their doors and offers help and assistance in other ways as well,” Horowitz said. Although this is her first hurricane season, having joined ARVC in July, Horowitz was startled while attending an annual meeting for the Northeast campground association hosted in northern Pennsylvania. She got to experience the thunderstorms preceding a hurricane.

“I was trapped in all of that, and I flew back the day before Hurricane Florence was supposed to make landfall,” Horowitz explained.

The backroads she was traveling began to flood as she drove in a small rental car.

“I’m hitting these side roads, and I stop at one point and call my husband. I said, ‘I don’t know if this car can make it through the movement of water across this road.’ And that was nothing in comparison to what was about to come just a few short days later,” she said.

Some of her coworkers have experienced flooding in various parts of the U.S. During the mass flooding in Colorado in 2013, access to a Jellystone Park in Estes Park was blocked. But the ARVC Foundation grant and additionally threw a community event working with the Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association to clean the roadways.

As hurricane season ends, park websites sometimes list what supplies and necessities donors can help with. Those interested in donating or volunteering can visit the ARVC Foundation for more information.

“Throughout my life, I’ve always been that outdoor person in a very classic way, wanting to camp and hike,” said Horowitz. “Some of my fondest memories are tied to that.”

David MacNeal

David MacNeal is the former digital content editor of RV PRO Magazine.

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