Flood victims in Pender County qualify for federal disaster assistance

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PENDER COUNTY — Pender County has been added to those counties that qualify for federal disaster relief for damages due to Hurricane Matthew. Homeowners, renters and business owners may apply.

Pender joins several other counties that qualify for the assistance, which include: Dare, Duplin, Gates, Hyde, Jones,Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett Hoke, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson counties.

Storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Matthew, beginning on Oct. 4.

Those applying are encouraged to register with FEMA as soon as possible. Those with phone and/or Internet access, may register in one of the following ways:

Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

Download the FEMA Mobile App from: Google Play,  the Apple store and Blackberry World.

Phone 800-621-3362 (FEMA).

Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 1-800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week and multilingual operators are available.

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If you do not have access to telephone or internet service, North Carolina Emergency Management and FEMA survivor assistance specialists will soon be moving into affected communities to help people register for assistance. Additionally, disaster recovery centers are expected to open in the near future in affected counties, according to a FEMA press release.

Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

FEMA advises applicants to contact their insurance company to file their insurance claim. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who may be underinsured may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.