ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Money to help North Carolinians whose lives were severely disrupted by the ravages of two major storms in a one-month period continues to flow into disaster-stricken areas. Since President Bush issued two separate disaster declarations for North Carolina in September, federal and state aid has surpassed $44.5 million dollars as of November 16, with 19,645 registrants to date seeking assistance for losses suffered from Tropical Storm Frances and/or Hurricane Ivan.
Those affected by the storms that have not yet applied for assistance are encouraged to contact FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment. FEMA also has made it possible for the first time to register online, as well as find valuable recovery information, at www.fema.gov. The deadline for those affected by both storms to register for help was recently extended through December 17.
Nearly $27 million dollars has been disbursed by FEMA and the state to North Carolina residents affected by the disasters. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved over $8 million dollars in low-interest loans for homes and businesses.
While 15 Disaster Recovery Centers were open in declared counties, 4,294 individuals visited the centers to get more information concerning their cases, disaster assistance, and ways to rebuild more safely. Mitigation has been a major focus for FEMA, providing funds and technical advice to eligible candidates to make their homes and businesses more storm resistant.
The following is a summary of the response and recovery activity since President Bush declared 45 counties eligible for federal disaster assistance from the effects of Tropical Storm Frances and/ or Hurricane Ivan.
|Applications for Individual Assistance||12,872||6,773||19,645|
|Approved for Housing Assistance||$9,385,144||$7,814,606||$17,199,750|
|Approved for Other Needs Assistance||$7,388,577||$2,381,873||$9,770,450|
|SBA Low-Interest Loan Applications Issued||5,278||4,680||9,958|
|Dollars Approved for Low-Interest Loans||$4,200,700||$4,131,900||$8,332,600|
|Public Assistance Projects Obligated To Date||$9,554,996|
Money has also begun to flow to communities through FEMA's Public Assistance (infrastructure) program for public projects. The program provides funds to eligible municipalities, public agencies, qualified private non-profit organizations, and federally recognized tribes for approved costs of debris removal, emergency protective measures, road repairs, repair of water control facilities and restoration of buildings, utilities, and recreational facilities that sustained damages from Tropical Storm Frances and Hurricane Ivan. Under the Public Assistance program, FEMA pays 75 percent of the approved costs for most projects. The other 25 percent is made up from non-FEMA sources determined by the state. More than 2,250 project worksheets will be submitted for funding. To date, $9.5 million dollars has been disbursed.
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 re...