RALEIGH, N.C. – More than 25,000 households recovering from Hurricane Irene have been helped
by North Carolina and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but more may be eligible for disaster assistance.
Some of the things people with disaster-related losses need to know include:
- Applying for help from the American Red Cross or other volunteer organization isn’t the same as registering with FEMA. You must register with FEMA to be eligible for state and federal disaster assistance.
- Registering with FEMA takes about 20 minutes. Anyone in the designated counties with disaster-related losses can register for disaster assistance by calling 800-621-3362
(TTY 800-462-7585), going online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by using a tablet or smartphone at m.fema.gov.
- Disaster assistance helps fill the gaps in disaster recovery, even for those who get insurance payouts or other assistance.
- Homeowners with insurance may still be eligible for help with uninsured or underinsured disaster-related losses such as damage to wells and septic systems.
- Property owners waiting for a visit from an insurance adjuster, or for an insurance settlement, should go ahead and register with FEMA.
- Those with disaster-related losses need to make necessary repairs to make the house livable and keep receipts for all work.
- Most federal and state disaster assistance programs are available to individuals of all income levels, depending on the applicant’s circumstances and needs.
- Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- It is important to register with FEMA because the damage caused by the winds, heavy rains and flooding of Hurricane Irene – and the costs associated with repairs or rebuilding – may not be apparent for several weeks.
- · The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster assistance loans to homeowners and renters for repairs and replacement of personal property. The completion of the SBA application – even if you don’t want, or think you can’t afford, a loan – is necessary to be considered for other federal grants.
The North Carolina counties under the disaster declaration for Individual Assistance are: Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson counties.
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.
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, an...