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Saturday, May 18, 2024

FEMA: How to find assistance in the aftermath of Florence

Insurance and disaster relief for North Carolina homeowners and renters, including residents in New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties.

A fallen tree on a house in Piney Acres just southeast of the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus, Saturday, September 15, 2018. (Port City Daily photo | Mark Darrough)
A fallen tree on a house in Piney Acres just southeast of the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus. (Port City Daily photo | Mark Darrough)

RALEIGH — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has outlined methods and resources for North Carolina homeowners and renters whose residences are damaged, unsafe, or inaccessible because of Hurricane Florence. FEMA stated that disaster assistance is available to affected individuals in 18 counties including New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.

This follows FEMA’s announcement on Saturday, September 15, that federal disaster assistance had been made available to the state of North Carolina “to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Florence beginning on September 7, 2018, and continuing.”

President Trump’s approval means that federal funding is now available to affected individuals in the affected 18 counties. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs as well as low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, among other programs designed to help individuals and businesses recover from the damages of Hurricane Florence.

In Tuesday’s release, FEMA suggests the following:

  • Insurance: FEMA recommends for those with homeowner’s or flood insurance to file insurance claims immediately before applying for disaster assistance.
  • For those who are unable to return to their homes or to live in their homes because of disaster damage: Visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) to determine if state, voluntary, and local organizations are in your community to address immediate needs.
  • For those who are able to return to their homes: If your home is safe, has working power, water, and sewer or septic service, visit DisasterAssistance.gov to determine if state, voluntary, and local organizations are in your community to address any unmet needs.
  • Disaster assistance: If you are in one of the following counties, you will need your social security number, daytime telephone number, current mailing address of the damaged property, and insurance information, if available:
    • Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne counties.

“Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, sanitary and secure. FEMA assistance may also provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your recovery plan,” according to the release.

FEMA says that after registering for disaster assistance, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“In times of disasters, the SBA offers low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters. The SBA will contact you with information on how to apply. There’s no obligation to accept a loan, but you may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if you don’t submit an application,” according to the release.

Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans and application forms are available online at SBA.gov/disaster. You may also call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. 

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