RALEIGH, N.C. -- Residents and business owners in 47 central and eastern North Carolina counties who sustained damage during Hurricane Isabel or its aftermath have only three more weeks to apply for disaster assistance.
December 8 is the last day applications will be accepted.
"We extended the deadline to make sure everyone had a chance to get aid," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "If you had uninsured hurricane or storm damage during from September 18 through 26, please call 1-800-621-3362 quickly and register for disaster assistance."
December 8 is also the deadline for submitting loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property. Even those who do not want an SBA loan should complete and return the application if they get one, according to disaster officials. If SBA is unable to approve a loan, applicants may be referred to other agencies for possible grant assistance. No one has to accept a loan if it is offered; however, a low-interest loan is the primary source of federal assistance for long-term recovery.
"There are several forms of aid available to victims until December 8," said State Coordinating Officer Dr. Kenneth B. Taylor of the North Carolina Division of Emergency management. "But if you have not registered with FEMA by December 8, it will be too late to get any federal or state aid."
Counties declared eligible for federal/state disaster aid as a result of the hurricane or other storms from September 18 through 26 are Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials strongly urge those who have not done so to apply as soon as possible by calling FEMA's toll-free application line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY application number at 1-800-462-7585. The registration numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.