COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Residents and business owners have just over two weeks left to apply for disaster assistance if they sustained storm or flood-related damage or loss in a declared county between September 14 and 30. The deadline to call and apply for disaster assistance is Friday, November 19.
The application process begins with a single, toll-free call to 1 800-462-9029 or 1 800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Phone lines are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.
People who have already called to apply can receive assistance with low-interest loan applications or have their specific recovery questions answered by visiting one of the SBA Workshops. One is located at the Conway Senior Community Center at 1519 Mill Pond Rd. and the other at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center at 2101 North Oak St. There is also a FEMA specialist available at the Conway location to check on the status of individual applications. Both workshops are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until further notice.
* More Than $14 Million Approved for Disaster Assistance
More than $14 million in disaster assistance grants and low-interest loans have already been approved for more than a third of the 13,000 plus South Carolina residents in the 11 declared counties who have applied for disaster assistance. (See county breakdown on Page 3)
Disaster housing assistance grants, totaling almost $5,920,409 for more than 5,000 applicants, covers temporary rental assistance or emergency home repair that makes the dwelling safe and livable. A total of $1,691,563 also has been approved for almost 1,000 applicants 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 $6,526,300 in low-interest disaster loans for 263 homeowners, who have received $5,452,700, and 72 business owners, who have received $1,073,600.
Loan officials urge people who received SBA application packets to complete those papers and return them as soon as possible. If the loan application is not completed and returned, it may affect other forms of disaster assistance. If a renter or homeowner is not eligible for a loan, for whatever reason, they will be automatically referred to the IFG Program.
* Crisis Counseling Available for Disaster Applicants
More than 7,000 South Carolina residents have already received some form of crisis counseling services from the State Department of Mental Health (DMH). In addition to counseling, DMH personnel are providing referral services and several outreach programs, including schools visits.
FEMA awarded a grant of almost $100,000 to the State to 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.
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).
* Orangeburg County Selected as Project Impact Community
Governor Jim Hodges announced Saturday that South Carolina will expand its partnership with the...