RALEIGH, N.C. -- Officials with the North Carolina Emergency Management Division are working with county officials and community relations specialists with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reach out to people affected by Hurricane Floyd.
For the last three weeks, the state/federal community relations teams have been canvassing communities throughout the 66 counties declared as disaster counties. The 90 team members are going door-to-door to talk with individuals who have suffered damages, and also are meeting with community leaders and public officials. They are offering people information about available disaster relief programs, including grants to help pay for temporary housing needs, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses.
When unmet needs are identified, they relay that information on to the state or federal staff best able to respond.
"We rely on our community relations staff not only to get the word out but also to find out first hand the problems communities and individuals in those communities are facing," Federal Coordinating Officer Glenn C. Woodard said.
Members of FEMA's community relations team have come to North Carolina from as far away as Pennsylvania, Alaska and Puerto Rico. Some of the team members who speak both Spanish and English are focusing on visiting Spanish-speaking areas of the state.
Community relations team members are reminding people that to apply for disaster assistance, they must call the toll-free application hotline, 1-800-462-9029 (1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired). The line is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice.