ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- North Carolina residents who suffered damages from Tropical Storm Frances or Hurricane Ivan now have until December 17 to register for federal and state disaster assistance, officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management (CCPS-DEM) announced.
The application period normally closes 60 days after the federal disaster declaration, but North Carolina residents now have until December 17 to apply. Although disaster assistance may continue beyond the deadline date, applicants must register before the deadline to be in the system.
Anyone who had damage or uninsured losses and has not yet applied, is encouraged to call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment.
Disaster assistance can include funding for temporary disaster housing assistance; replacement grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace real or personal property and housing repair. Loan applications to the SBA for disaster-related losses must also be submitted by December 17.
Residents of the following counties are eligible to apply: Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Bladen, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Caswell, Cleveland, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Forsyth, Gaston, Graham, Guilford, Haywood, Henderson, Hoke, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Randolph, Robeson, Rockingham, Rutherford, Scotland, Stokes, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey.
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.