COLUMBIA, S.C. -- More than 6,500 South Carolina residents have already received crisis counseling, outreach services or referral services from the State Department of Mental Health (DMH) since FEMA awarded a grant to the State of almost $100,000 on Oct. 8. The funds provide crisis counseling services to residents of Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties in response to the hardships created by Hurricane Floyd.
"Dealing with the aftermath of any disaster is extremely difficult," said Federal Coordinating Officer Larry Bailey. "Feeling overwhelmed, even depressed is common. People need to know that acknowledging stress is the first step toward feeling better. "
Mental health experts say that disaster-related stress may surface days or even months following the event, and can affect children as well as adults.
The most common symptoms of stress include irritability, anger, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares, sadness, depression, headaches, nausea, hyperactivity, lack of concentration, and increased alcohol and drug abuse.
Eligible residents are encouraged to call the following 24-hour emergency mental health county numbers: Berkeley - 1-888-202-1381; Charleston - 1-843-727-2000; Horry - 1-843-347-4888; Colleton - 1-800-922-7844; Georgetown - 1-843-546-6107; Marion - 1-843-1100, and Williamsburg - 1-843-354-5456 (or 5453).
TOTAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE
Since the Presidential disaster declaration 10,898 disaster survivors in 11 declared counties have applied for assistance, and a total of $8,397,457 has been approved for disaster grants and low-interest loans.
Disaster housing assistance grants, totaling almost $4.3 million for some 3,700 applicants, covers temporary rental assistance or emergency home repair that makes the dwelling safe and habitable. A total of $841,464 also has been approved for approximately 470 people who will receive Individual and Family Grant (IFG) funds for serious, unmet needs that are not covered by other programs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $3,264,000 in low-interest disaster loans for 119 homeowners, who received $2,990,000, and 17 businesses that received $273,900. Out of 4,058 loan applications issued, SBA officials have had only 659 applications returned. These loan officials urge people who received application packets when they applied for assistance to get those completed documents back to the SBA as soon as possible.
If the loan application is not completed and returned, it may affect other forms of disaster assistance. The deadline to call and apply for disaster assistance is Friday, November 19.
The SBA is the primary source of federal funds for long-term disaster recovery for owners of private property, including homeowners, renters, landlords, non-farm businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations. These low-interest loans cover costs of repair or replacement of damaged real estate, personal property and business assets not fully covered by insurance or other aid.
A county-by-county breakdown of assistance applications, approved housing dollars, approved IFG applications and approved IFG dollars. Note - Where five or fewer IFG applications have been approved the number is not given (*) to protect the applicants' financial confidentiality.
|County||Apps.||Apps. Approved||Housing Grants||IFG Approved||IFG Grants|
|Berkeley||763||207||$ 144,145||14||$ 9,547|