RALEIGH, N.C. -- Three weeks after Hurricane Irene struck North Carolina, more than $17.5 million in state and federal aid has been approved to help those affected by the storm.
Almost 24,000 survivors have contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help or information regarding disaster assistance. Many people are seeking housing assistance from FEMA because their primary home has been damaged or destroyed.
Survivors who do not need FEMA disaster assistance or have additional needs are referred to partner agencies such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Small Business Administration. Businesses are also referred to the SBA. Other callers may be interested in disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling or legal aid.
The following is a snapshot of the disaster recovery effort as of Sept. 18:
- 5,420 households already approved for FEMA grants that assist with temporary rentals and personal property loss.
- $13.9 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- $2.6 million approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- $1.1 million in low-interest disaster loans approved by the Small Business Administration.
- 15,710 home inspections completed.
- 7,702 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.
- 17 disaster recovery centers currently open.
No matter the degree of loss or insurance coverage, survivors are urged to apply for help. They can use any of the following methods:
- By phone, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Assistance is available in most languages. People who have a speech disability or are deaf or hard of hearing may call (TTY) 800-462-7585. Users of 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362.
- Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Go to m.fema.gov with a tablet or smartphone.
Businesses that need help may contact the Small Business Administration directly at the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.