RALEIGH, N.C. -- Disaster recovery can be a lengthy process but a critical first step is applying for assistance. Take charge of your recovery by registering for disaster assistance, filing insurance claims, cleaning up your property, and keeping all receipts. Staying in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after you register is important too.
Register by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585, or by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. FEMA Helpline hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week until further notice. If you have a smartphone, you can register at m.fema.gov.
FEMA will assign an inspector to assess damages to your home. The inspector will make an appointment to meet with you. At the appointment, you will need to provide a photo ID and verify your name, address, and the FEMA registration number you received when you registered. Inspectors are independent contractors with FEMA identification. Ask to see the inspector’s identification. There is no charge for the inspection.
Call your insurance company and file your insurance claims promptly. Document damage as thoroughly as possible, including taking photographs. Don’t forget to provide FEMA with documentation from your insurance company about your claim. FEMA may be able to provide assistance with temporary housing assistance, uninsured personal property looses, and medical, dental and funeral expense caused by the disaster, along with other disaster-related expenses and serious needs. FEMA cannot duplicate money received from insurance or other sources.
Clean up – carefully. There is no need to wait for a visit from the inspectors to clean storm-damaged property. For tips on cleanup, visit www.disasterassistance.gov. Also, local building departments may require permits and further inspections.
Stay in touch. FEMA needs to be able to contact you, so updating your contact information is important if you move or change phone numbers. If you have questions about correspondence from FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or about the status of your application, contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. You can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center and speak to representatives of FEMA, SBA and other agencies between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. at one of the following locations:
Colerain Community Building
106 W. Academy St.
Colerain, NC 27924
Department of Social Services
1st Floor Conference Room D
1225 Ramsey St.
Fayetteville, NC 28301
McSwain Agricultural Center
2420 Tramway Road
Sanford, NC 27332
The Herald Building
125 S. 4th St.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Chavis Heights Community Center
505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Powell-Melvin Agricultural Center
450 Smith Circle
Elizabethtown, NC 28337
East Pointe Village Shopping Center
1165 E. Cumberland St., Suite 106
Dunn, NC 28334
Other centers will open soon in counties designated for assistance.
If you receive an SBA low-interest disaster loan application, you must complete and return it to be considered for some FEMA grants that cover personal proper...