COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A toll-free application telephone number is now operational for those individuals in Horry, Georgetown and Charleston Counties affected by the high winds and flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd. Residents and small business owners in these counties who suffered damage or loss as a result of the hurricane are urged to apply for assistance.
Larry Bailey, Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Stan McKinney, State Coordinating Officer, South Carolina Emergency Preparedness Division (SCEPD), said those affected by the disaster may apply for assistance by calling this toll-free application number, 1 800 462-9029, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (ET) seven days a week. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1 800 462-7585.
Prior to the hurricane's landfall, President Clinton signed a declaration releasing emergency federal funds to 27 South Carolina counties to cover the costs of critical measures necessary to meet immediate human needs, protect property and insure public health and safety. The declaration sought by Governor Jim Hodges and issued today makes federal aid available to help meet the recovery needs of county residents and business owners in the declared counties. Additional counties may be added to the declaration after further evaluation of the storm's effects.
The declaration makes residents of these counties eligible for a wide range of programs such as funding for disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious need and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
Residents and business owners who suffered damage or loss due to Hurricane Floyd and have insurance coverage should first contact their insurance company and then apply for disaster assistance.
"Your phone call is your application for state and federal assistance available under this disaster declaration. Telephone application has proven to be the simplest, quickest and most efficient way to apply," McKinney said.
When calling to apply have the following information available:
- Your current phone number
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are staying
- Your Social Security number, if available
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered
- Good directions to the property that was damaged
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name
- General financial information
According to Bailey, individuals who have suffered damage and have unmet needs are encouraged to call the application number. "Even if you don't have all the information necessary or it was lost in the flooding, don't prejudge your eligibility," he said. "It's important that all residents get the assistance they are entitled to."
"As we toured the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Floyd, the devastation that high winds and flooding can cause was clear." said Bailey. "After the flood waters recede and as individuals and their communities recover from this disaster, we hope that they will be looking at a variety of measures that might be taken to keep the devastation from happening again."
Through Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities, FEMA is working with communities across the country to reduce the impact that natural disasters have on people's lives. This major mitigation effort, initiated by FEMA Director James Lee Witt in 1998, expands the agency's focus beyond simply responding when disaster strikes to planning for the prevention of futu...