Columbia, SC -- State and federal officials announced today that the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the National Guard Armory in Darlington (Darlington County) will close at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 23. The Center is helping those individuals who suffered damages as a result of the multiple storms that began with Hurricane Frances on September 6 and continued through October 11.
"Disaster Recovery Centers are opened temporarily after a Presidential disaster declaration to assist residents in their recovery," said Mike Bolch, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "They enable citizens to discuss available programs face-to-face with local, state and federal recovery specialists."
FEMA Officials encourage citizens to begin the application process by calling the toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing- or speech- impaired individuals can call the TTY toll-free number 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week until further notice.
"As people are putting their lives back together, the most important step is to call. Due to this storm season's unprecedented call volume, phone lines are very busy. Don't get discouraged; continue to call until you get through," said Bolch. Non-peak calling times are after 6:00 p.m. and on weekends.
Individuals with Internet access now have the option to register on the agency's website at http://www.fema.gov, where other valuable recovery information is also available.
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.