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North Carolina Hurricane Florence (DR-4393)

Incident Period: September 07, 2018 - September 29, 2018
Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 14, 2018

Individual Assistance Applications
Approved: 33,188

Total Individual & Households Program
Dollars Approved: $118,738,788.19

Total Public Assistance Grants
Dollars Obligated: $1,203,663.82

Designated Counties (Individual Assistance):

Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Union, Wayne, Wilson

Financial Assistance

Individual Assistance - Dollars Approved

$118,738,788.19

Total Individual & Households Program (IHP) - Dollars Approved*

$98,273,555.69

Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved*

$20,465,232.50

Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved*

33,188

Total Individual Assistance (IA) - Applications Approved*

Public Assistance - Dollars Approved

$1,203,663.82

Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) - Dollars Obligated✝

$229,137.46

Emergency Work (Categories A-B) - Dollars Obligated✝

* Dollars Approved: Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.
✝ Dollars Obligated: Funds made available to the State via electronic transfer following FEMA's final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

Learn more about FEMA Disaster definitions. Information is updated every 24 hours.

Daily Summary

As of 11/8/18, this is the last Daily Summary being produced and distributed by FEMA External Affairs.

  • Renters who were forced out of their home by Hurricane Florence and initially were eligible for rental assistance from FEMA and still need FEMA’s help have two steps to take to get continued assistance:
    • Complete a Declaration of Continuing Need for Rental Assistance. This is a legal document mailed to all rental grant recipients 15 days after the rental assistance grant is received. Survivors with additional housing needs must complete the Declaration.
    • Return the form and all required documentation to FEMA.
  • Ineligible determination due to insufficient damage: Did FEMA determine the damage caused by the disaster did not make your home unsafe to live in? You may appeal FEMA’s decision.

Overview
Total state and federal resources: $809.6 million

  • IHP grants approved for homeowners and renters: $112.5 million
  •  SBA low-interest loans: $279.2 million
  •  NFIP claims paid to policyholders: estimated $417.9 million

By The Numbers
As of Nov. 8:

  • 34 counties designated for Individual Assistance
  • 49 counties designated for Public Assistance, all categories
  • Households approved for housing assistance: 31,648
  • IHP grants approved for homeowners and renters: $112.5 million
    • Housing Assistance approved: $93.3 million
    •  Other Needs Assistance approved: $19.1 million
  • FEMA inspectors in the field: 53
  •  FEMA inspections completed: 95,918 (99%) out of 96,430 assigned
  • Households in TSA hotels: 398 representing 1,108 total household members
  •  As of Nov. 8, 58 Direct Housing Units licensed in and 404 work orders issued
  • DRC visitors: 29,893
  • SBA loans: 6,968 loans for $279.2 million
    • Loans approved for 6,451 homeowners and renters: $250.4 million
    • Loans approved for 517 businesses: $28.9 million
  • NFIP claims paid: estimated $417.9 million
  • NFIP claims filed: 14,793
  • Homes visited by DSA crews: 94,829
  •  Case updates and inquiries made by DSA crews: 4,549

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 001: Verifying Home Ownership in the Disaster Assistance Process

FAQ 002: Survivors with Losses from Both Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Matthew

FAQ 003: Understanding Your FEMA Letter

FAQ 004: Direct Temporary Housing for North Carolina Disaster Survivors

FAQ 005: Direct Housing Follow-up

Apply for Disaster Assistance

Homeowners, renters and business owners who have uninsured and underinsured losses as a result of Hurricane Florence in 31 counties: Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Union, Wayne and Wilson may now apply for disaster assistance.
 
If you have a homeowner’s or flood insurance policy, file your insurance claim immediately before applying for disaster assistance. Get the process started quickly. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin.
 
If you cannot return to your home, or you are unable to live in your home because of disaster damage, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) (Multilingual operators are available, press 2 for Spanish) to determine if state, voluntary, and local organizations are in your community to address your immediate needs.

The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week.

If you are in one of the designated counties, you will need the following to apply for assistance:

  • Social Security Number;
  • Daytime telephone number;
  • Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property; and
  • Insurance information, if available.

After registering with FEMA, a survivor may be contacted by a FEMA-contracted housing inspector to schedule an inspection to verify disaster-related damage. The inspection generally takes about 20-40 minutes. The inspector will want to see the damaged areas of the home and any damaged furniture and personal property. There is no fee for the inspection.

If the home was found to be inaccessible at the time of inspection, the applicant is required to let FEMA know when the home is accessible and request a new inspection. To update the status of an uninhabitable dwelling applicants should call the disaster assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362. Once the status of the home is updated and the survivor has requested a new inspection, a FEMA-contracted inspector will contact the applicant to schedule the inspection.

On the day of the inspection, applicants should ask the inspector to show a FEMA photo ID badge. If an inspector refuses to show FEMA photo identification, do not allow the inspection. Disasters often bring out scam artists who prey on the needs of disaster survivors. Someone 18 years of age or older must be present during the inspection. The inspector will also ask to see:

  • Photo identification;
  • Proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence (tax bill, mortgage payment book, rental agreement or utility bill);
  • Insurance documents (homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and/or an auto insurance policy summary);
  • List of people living in the residence at the time of disaster; and
  • All disaster-related damages to both real and personal property.

Once the inspection process is complete, FEMA will review the case and send a letter to the applicant outlining a decision.

If an applicant is eligible for a disaster assistance, FEMA will send funds via check by mail or direct deposit into the survivor’s bank account. If a survivor receives money for rental assistance, the survivor must keep documentation and receipts of payments made and have a written landlord/tenant agreement for the time frame for which assistance is provided.

If an applicant is not eligible for disaster assistance, FEMA will send a letter explaining why the applicant was determined ineligible. The applicant should read this letter carefully. Many times ineligibility is due to FEMA not having important information, such as an insurance settlement letter, proof of ownership or proof of occupancy. Applicants have 60 days to appeal a FEMA decision. The appeal process is detailed in the letter.

After registering for disaster assistance, survivors may be asked to fill out a low-interest disaster loan application with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses and nonprofit organizations of all sizes, homeowners and renters. Completing a home loan application makes it possible to be considered for additional assistance. Applicants do not have to accept the loan if they qualify.

  • SBA applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.  Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans and application forms are available online at or by calling 800-659-2955 (TTY users call 800-877-8339) or via email to Disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Applicants may also call SBA at 800-659-2955 to have an application mailed.

FEMA assistance may include help to pay for: temporary housing, emergency home repairs and rental assistance; medical, dental and funeral expenses; essential personal property; or miscellaneous immediate need items.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who may be underinsured may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

What to Expect After Registering for Disaster Assistance

After registering for disaster assistance, you may be contacted by a FEMA-contracted housing inspector to schedule an appointment for a housing inspection.

 

Your first contact with a housing inspector may be by text or phone call and may come from an area code different than yours. The inspection is needed to verify and assess damage indicated when you registered. The inspection generally takes about 20-40 minutes but may take longer. The inspector will want to see the damaged areas of your home, as well as damaged furniture and personal property. There is no fee for the inspection.

 

When a housing inspector comes to visit your home, ask to see a FEMA photo ID badge. If you are not shown photo identification, then do not allow the inspection. Disasters often bring out scam artists who prey on the needs of disaster survivors.

 

All FEMA-contracted housing inspectors will be able to identify you by the unique nine digit number you were assigned when you applied for assistance. FEMA inspectors will never ask for this information. They already have it in their records. If you are unsure if the inspector is with FEMA, call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) to confirm.

 

Someone 18 years of age or older must be present during the inspection. The inspector will also ask to see:

  • Photo identification;
  • Proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence (structural insurance, tax bill, mortgage payment book/utility bill);
  • Insurance documents: home and/or auto (structural insurance/auto declaration sheet);
  • List of household occupants living in the residence at time of disaster; and
  • All disaster-related damage to both real and personal property                                                        

 

Once the inspection process is complete, your case will be reviewed by FEMA and you will receive a letter outlining the decision about your claim. Inspectors do not make eligibility determinations for assistance.

 

Read all communications from FEMA carefully. If you are eligible for disaster assistance, FEMA will send you a check by mail or deposit it directly into your bank account. If you receive money for rental assistance, be sure to keep documentation and receipts of payments. If you pay

 

to stay somewhere, you should have a written landlord/tenant agreement for the time frame you use the assistance.

 

If you are not eligible for federal disaster assistance, you will receive a letter from FEMA explaining why you may not be eligible for this form of disaster assistance. You will be given a chance to appeal the decision. Appeals must be in writing and mailed within 60 days of FEMA’s decision. Many times, your letter will say you’re ineligible because FEMA needs additional information from you, like proof of an insurance settlement.

 

Although FEMA assistance cannot make you whole, it may help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, sanitary and secure. FEMA assistance may also provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your recovery plan.

 

After registering for disaster assistance, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In times of disasters, the SBA offers low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters. The SBA will contact you with information on how to apply. There’s no obligation to accept a loan, but you may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if you don’t submit an application.

 

Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans and application forms are available online at SBA.gov/disaster. You may also call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. If you use TTY, call 800-877-8339. Applicants may apply online at SBA’s secure website, https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster Recovery Centers

Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in the counties included in the North Carolina major disaster declaration for Hurricane Florence and the subsequent floods.

DRCS serve as one-stop shops for hurricane survivors who want to know what to expect after registering for assistance. Recovery specialists from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the state and other interests will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application.

Need an American Sign Language interpreter? If an onsite interpreter is needed, please call or text 202-655-8824. If possible, please allow at least 24 hours to schedule an interpreter.
 

For a list of the centers and their current hours, visit fema.gov/DRC  or download the FEMA mobile app. Center hours and locations may be adjusted based on visitor demand.

Center Locations:

All DRCs are closed on Sundays.

County and #

Location

Hours

Carteret

#8

Board of Elections

1702 Live Oak St., Beaufort, NC 28516

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

*Closes permanently at 5 p.m., Dec. 12

Craven

#7

Former Eckerd Drugstore

710 Degraffenreid Ave., New Bern, NC 28560

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

*Closes permanently at 5 p.m., Dec. 13

Cumberland

#2

Social Services Department,

1225 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

*Closes permanently at 5 p.m., Dec. 12

New Hanover

#6

Independence Mall

3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

Onslow

#1a

175 Freedom Way, Suite 18 A, Midway Park, NC 28544

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

*Closes permanently at 5 p.m., Dec. 13

Pender

#13a

Pender County Agriculture Auditorium

801 S. Walker Street, Burgaw, NC 28425

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

*Closes permanently at 5 p.m., Dec. 12

Robeson

#14

Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

Soaring Eagle Community Building

442 Norment Road, Lumberton, NC 28360

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

*Closes permanently at 5 p.m., Dec. 13

 

The centers are accessible to people with disabilities. Centers have assistive technology equipment allowing disaster survivors to use amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss, and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available and in-person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.

Disaster survivors can visit any of the centers for assistance. Use the FEMA app or visit FEMA.gov/DRC to view other locations.

Homeowners, renters and businesses should register for disaster assistance before visiting a recovery center by:

  • Visiting DisasterAssistance.gov;
  • Using the FEMA app; or
  • Calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585

The following information is helpful when registering:

  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address);
  • Current mailing address;
  • Current telephone number;
  • Insurance information;
  • Total household annual income;
  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows direct transfer of funds into a bank account); and
  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.
     

Do not wait to begin cleanup and repairs. Take photos of damage. Save all receipts. And get the cleanup and repair process started as soon as you can.
 
Disaster survivors can visit any of the centers for assistance. Visit www.fema.gov/DRC to view other locations.
North Carolina homeowners, renters and business owners in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson counties may apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Florence.
The NC 211 statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 (TTY), or text Florence to 898211. The information line is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm resources.
For more information on North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence, visit NCDPS.gov/NCEM and FEMA.gov/Disaster/4393. Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.
 

Mobile Registration Intake Centers

Mobile Registration Intake Centers change locations every few days. Survivors may visit any center to register for federal assistance or find out more information about the types of help and programs available.

Center Locations: There are no MRICs open at this time.

SBA Business Recovery Centers

The SBA has opened nine BRCs to help businesses affected by Florence. Below are their current locations and hours.

County

Location

Hours

Bladen

Powell-Melvin Agricultural Service Center,

450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown, NC 28337

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Sat.

Carteret

Sound Bank

5039 Executive Drive, Morehead City, NC 28557

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Thu.

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fri.

Columbus

Columbus County Community Farmers Market 132 Government Complex Road, Whiteville, NC 28472

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mon. to Sat.

Craven

Centenary United Methodist Church, Education Building Entrance

309 New Street, New Bern, NC 28560

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Sat.

Cumberland

Cumberland County Department of Social Services

1225 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. to Sat.

Johnston

Riverwalk Office Suites, 101 East Market Street, Unit 2C, Smithfield, NC 27577

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Sat.

New Hanover

Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

1 Estelle Lee Place, Wilmington, NC 28401

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Sat.

Onslow

Onslow County

234 NW Corridor Blvd, Room 107,

Jacksonville, NC 28540

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Fri.

 

Pitt

SBTDC Regional Service Center at East Carolina University, 300 East First Street, Willis Building, Greenville, NC 27858

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Sat.

 

Robeson

Robeson Community College Workforce Development Center, Building 18, 5160 Fayetteville Road, Lumberton, NC 28358

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. to Sat.

 

 

 

Transportation Services

Transportation Services Available for Florence Survivors
Need a ride? Transportation services are now available for North Carolina residents affected by Hurricane Florence. Call the number for your county transit authority
(listed on the back of this flyer) to schedule a ride to and/or from:

  • Disaster Recovery Centers or shelters
  • Meetings with your insurance adjuster or home inspector
  • Temporary housing or work
  • Medical appointments
  • Other essential life services

Call to schedule a ride from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Rides can be scheduled for evenings and weekends. When calling, please have the following information available:
Your pick-up and drop-off location, number of passengers, day and time and if you require an accommodation for an access and/or functional need.

 252-240-1043Johnston CountyChapel Hill Bus/Van:Van: 919-202-5030919-485-7433 option 5Wayne CountyColumbus CountyGoTriangle Regional Trips:Van: 919-736-1374Van: 910-642-7201Jones County919-485-7433 option 3Goldsboro Bus: 919-736-1374Van: 252-636-4917Craven CountyPamlico CountyWilson CountyVan: 252-636-4917Lee CountyVan: 252-636-4917Van: 252-399-2817Van: 919-776-7201Wilson City Bus: 252-291-2850Cumberland CountyPender CountyCounty Van: 910-678-7619Van: 910-259-9119Relay North Carolina Serviceshttp://www.relaync.com/Pitt CountyTTY: 711 or 800-735-2962Van: 252-902-2002Greenville Bus: 252-329-4047

 

Direct Temporary Housing Assistance

As a result of Hurricane Florence, rental resources are not available in some communities for displaced residents. Based upon the needs identified by the State of North Carolina, FEMA is providing two forms of Direct Temporary Housing Assistance in 10 counties: Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson:

  • Travel Trailers provide a timely, effective interim solution for most households with a high degree of confidence that repairs to their home can be completed in less than a year, ideally within six months.
  • Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) provide a longer-term solution for survivors whose repairs will take longer to complete due to greater degree of damage.

To be considered for placement in a unit, North Carolina residents who sustained losses from Hurricane Florence must register with FEMA and stay in touch to make sure FEMA has up-to-date contact information.                                    

  • There are several ways to do this: Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app, call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS), or 800-462-7585 (TTY) or visit a disaster recovery center (DRC). To find a center go to: fema.gov/DRC. In-person American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are available by request by calling or texting 202-655-8824. To access a video in American Sign Language, go online to www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/172199

Direct Housing Program The Road To Receiving Temporary Housing 1.	To be considered for direct temporary housing, you must be registered with FEMA.2.	Inspection of damaged home to determine eligibility for FEMA assistance.3.	Pre-placement phone call to determine need for direct temporary housing.4.	Site inspection to determine if unit can e placed on your property.5.	If site is approved, FEMA will issue work order to install unit.6.	If site is not approved, FEMA will install unit at pre-determined commercial park.7.	Applicant arranges for utilities connection.8.	Unit is installed and inspected.9.	After inspection, applicant signs license-in agreement. Periodically, applicant re-certifies need for housing.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance

Transitional Sheltering Assistance is a sheltering option using participating hotels/motels to help fill a gap until survivors identify short or long-term housing solutions.

  • TSA is available to eligible survivors whose pre-disaster primary residence is in one of the following nine counties: Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Columbus, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender or Robeson.
  • Survivors that do not have the option to return home and are unable to have their housing needs met through insurance, congregate shelters, or rental assistance provided by FEMA or another agency (federal, state or voluntary) may be eligible for TSA.
  • Survivors will be notified of their eligibility through an automated phone call, text message, and/or email depending upon the method of communication they selected when they registered for assistance.
  • To locate participating hotels, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, scroll down to the Quick Links section, and click on “Transitional Sheltering Assistance Hotel Locator.” You can also call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585
  • Continued eligibility is determined on an individual basis. When eligibility for a particular household ends, those survivors will be notified seven days prior to their checkout date.
  • FEMA provides rental assistance, home repair assistance and other forms of housing to help eligible survivors transition from TSA to a short or long-term housing option.

Extended Grace Period for Eligible Flood Insurance Policyholders

People who have flood insurance through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program normally have 30 days from their policy expiration date to pay to renew their policy and ensure continuous coverage. However, in the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Florence, FEMA’s NFIP has extended the renewal grace period from 30 days to 90 days for policyholders impacted by the flooding.

NFIP policyholders who meet all of the conditions below have up to 90 days from their policy expiration date to pay to renew their flood insurance policy:

  1. The flood-insured property is in a county designated under the Presidential Disaster Declarations for Individual Assistance in North Carolina; AND
  2. The NFIP policy has an expiration date between Aug. 10, 2018, and Oct. 10, 2018; AND
  3. The policyholder has not renewed their flood insurance policy.

If a policy expires on or after October 10, 2018, the standard 30-day renewal grace period will go into effect. The NFIP cannot cover any flood claims for losses that occurred after the policy expiration date.   

For more information about renewing flood insurance policies, policyholders can contact their insurance carriers or call the NFIP Call Center at 1-800-427-4661.

Mitigation Outreach Locations 

Disaster survivors can get tips and advice on how to rebuild stronger against future storm damage from FEMA flood mitigation specialists at Disaster Recovery Centers and at select hardware and home improvement stores for a limited time.

The specialists can answer questions about home repair, making disaster plans, putting together supply kits and the importance of flood insurance. Their schedule follows:

County

Location

Open/close date, hours

Brunswick

Walmart Supercenter

1675 N. Howe St.

Southport, N.C. 28461

Dec. 10 to Dec. 28

*Except Christmas Day

Mon. thru Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

New Hanover

Walmart Supercenter

5226 Sigmon Road

Wilmington, N.C. 28403

Dec. 10 to Dec. 28

*Except Christmas Day

Mon. thru Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pender

Surf City Lowe's

106 Wilkes Lane

Hampstead, N.C. 28443

Dec. 10 to Dec. 28

*Except Christmas Day

Mon. thru Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Robeson

Pembroke Hardware

7331 NC Hwy. 711
Pembroke, N.C. 28372

Nov. 26 to Dec. 14

Mon. thru Fri. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sat. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Sunday

Sampson

Walmart

1415 Sunset Ave.

Clinton, N.C. 28328

Dec. 10 to Dec. 28

*Except Christmas Day

Mon. thru Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

12 Mitigation Ideas Under $50

Repairing damage after a disaster can be expensive. In cases of severe
damage, the costs can be staggering.

However, many projects can be done for little or no money. Most can make a big difference in the next disaster and provide the extra bonus of lowering utility and home-maintenance costs year-round.

Here are some ideas:

1.  Cut it short.

When floor-level water meets drywall, it wicks up into the wallboard, which can lead to mold if left untreated. So when replacing drywall, create a small buffer zone by leaving a 1/2-inch to 1-inch gap between the bottom of the drywall sheeting and the top level of the floor. If adding carpeting, be sure the gap is above the carpeted level. Cover the gap with baseboard.

Cost: Free for this technique. Drywall and baseboard costs separate.

Benefits: Quicker, easier and cheaper cleanup in cases of low-level floods or common everyday spills, like liquids in a kitchen or bathroom.

 2.  Power up.

Raise electrical outlets. Check first to see what local codes allow, but most don’t have restrictions on the height of an outlet above the floor.  Consider moving outlets up at least 1 foot above the minimum flood level or 24 inches above floor level.

Cost: Free, if done after drywall has been removed. If drywall is still in place, costs can vary.

Benefits: Helps keep water from seepage or a low-level flood from infiltrating and damaging an electrical receptacle, which can cause damage to an electrical system and usually requires an electrician to repair or replace.

 3.  Show your numbers.

Add visible address numbers to a house exterior and to the street curb or mailbox. Though it seems like a small task it will make a difference if there is an emergency, especially if occupants need to be rescued. Large numbers are best. Consider visibility (color, design, etc.) when choosing.  Check local building codes and homeowner association or subdivision covenants for compliance requirements.

Cost: Most numbers sold at home-improvement stores are 4 inches tall and cost about $2 each. Larger numbers, depending on style and size, range from $5 to $10 each.

Benefits: Missing or barely visible address numbers can cause delays for emergency responders, especially during a disaster. The larger the numbers, the easier they are to see at night or during bad weather.  After a disaster, a visible address helps inspectors locate damaged property.

 4.  Put on a strip.

Install weather stripping on outside doors and windows to help seal out air and even water. Weather stripping should seal well when a door or window is closed. With doors, a space as small as 1/8-inch between a standard exterior door and its threshold is equivalent to a 2-square-inch hole in a wall. Closing the gaps can save up to 15 percent in heating and cooling costs and can help minimize the intrusion of low-level water.

Cost: Weather stripping supplies and techniques range from simple to complex but most are easily installed as do-it-yourself projects. Costs range from less than $5 for a 1-inch x 7-foot white vinyl piece to $11 for a ¾-inch x 1-foot aluminum and vinyl adjustable door set.

Benefits: Relatively easy to install, effective, durable, comes in a variety of colors. Vinyl stripping holds up well and resists moisture. Metal stripping lasts for years.  Both are affordable.

 5.  Turn on the radio.

Buy a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards to get advanced warning of weather emergencies from the nearest National Weather Service office. Radio broadcasts include such information as watches and warnings for heavy rains, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, extreme heat/cold, creek and river rises, and other hazards. Information is broadcast, as needed, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Cost: Prices range from $20 to $200, depending on the model and features.  The radios can be purchased at retail stores that sell electronics, some drug stores, through mail-order catalogs or via the Internet.

Benefits: Provides early warning to save lives and protect property, (i.e., moving, securing, raising or evacuating valuable items). Portable.  Can run on AC power or batteries. Inexpensive enough to have more than one (house, office, cabin, car, boat, etc.).

6.  Caulk it up.

Use caulk to seal all exterior openings, such as holes where wires, cables and pipes enter or exit a structure (winds of 74 mph can blow water up a wall about 4 feet). Once only available in polyurethane and silicone forms, caulk now comes in many non-toxic varieties that are specifically designed for a number of different home-repair jobs.

Cost: All-purpose caulk, suitable for most jobs, is less than $2 a tube; for doors and windows, less than $10 a tube.

Benefits: Makes a daily difference by helping to prevent heat loss around windows and doors. In severe storms, a well-sealed exterior helps to keep out wind-driven rain and overland flooding. A small opening can allow enough water in to fill interior cavities or walls. Some caulks are designed for use in high-moisture areas. Caulk can be used indoors or outdoors; some types can last up to 20 years.

7.  Well … cover it.

Add a clear plastic cover over exterior window wells to help keep out debris, leaves, animals and excess water – both from the window cavity (well) and a structure’s interior. Most covers are made from a poly-carbonate plastic and specially designed for window-well areas.

Cost: Prices vary, depending on size and style, but most range from $15 to more than $50 each. Available at most local home-improvement stores.

Benefits: Weather resistant. Generally not affected by sunlight or temperature extremes. Easy to install and relatively maintenance free.  Many can be customized to fit openings of special sizes and/or shapes.

8.  Gut your troughs and downspouts.

Keep gutters and downspouts clear of leaves, twigs and sediment buildup so water flows freely down and out. Composition roofs are known to shed shingle granules that can lead to silt buildup. Gutter clogs accelerate rust and often force water to spill uncontrollably over the edges and down onto foundation walls. From there, water can leak into crawl spaces or basements instead of properly draining away from a structure. Consider installing mesh leaf guards over gutter tops to minimize debris buildup. Thoroughly clean the entire system at least twice a year, especially before rainy seasons and in the fall when leaves, limbs and other debris might cause problems.

Cost: Free, if gutters and downspouts are routinely maintained. If gutters get clogged, scoop out debris and flush with water until free-flowing from the end of downspouts.

Benefits: Well-maintained gutters and downspouts can double or triple the life of a roof drainage system, can keep water from getting inside a structure and can prevent ground saturation around the foundation which can also lead to water leaking into the interior.

9.  Elbow a way around.

Add an elbow or drain sleeve to the bottom of downspouts to help divert water away from a structure. Elbows can come in aluminum or flexible heavy plastic tubing and are made to fit round or square downspouts. The flexible variety is especially good if water needs to be diverted some distance away from a structure.

Cost: Aluminum elbows start at about $4 each; metal about $6 each.  Flexible gutter elbows (heavy plastic tubing) range in size from 8 to 18 inches. Costs start at $4.

Benefits: Keeps rainwater from eroding foundations and from finding it way into crawl spaces or basements.

10. Block that splash.

Place splash blocks directly under the lower end of a downspout to stem soil erosion and divert water away from a structure. Choose blocks large enough to handle the volume of water that could come through a downspout in a heavy rainstorm. Also, place the block high enough and at enough of an angle to divert water at least 3 feet from the foundation

Cost: Plastic or fiberglass splash blocks range from $5 to $10 each.  Concrete splash blocks average about $15 but can run as much as $45, depending on the size.

Benefit: Saves damage to a structure’s foundation and helps to keep water from channeling under ground (below slabs, for example) and through to the interior.

11. Shape up and out.

Landscaping is an effective, easy way to keep overland water at bay and make a property more attractive. Add fill dirt with a binding material like clay around a foundation and angle it away from the structure. Cover with low-growing vegetation or ornamental materials, such as shredded bark or lightweight lava rock. Avoid heavier rock or landscaping gravel, unless required for drainage, to keep it from flying around in a high-wind event and causing damage.  Don’t plant vines that grow up exterior walls. Certain vines can break mortar or open cracks in siding which allow in moisture or insects.

Cost: A 50-pound bag of wood bark or mulch will cost about $15.  Or, sometimes communities offer mulch from large-scale tree removal projects that’s free for the hauling. The amount of bark required will depend on the coverage area. Many low-growing, spreading plants can be purchased for less than $50.

Benefits: Helps keep overland flooding from reaching a foundation and leaking inside. Foliage helps hold soil in place, naturally enhances drainage and increases curb appeal.

12. Go green.

Plant trees to add color, create visual interest, help stem erosion, and improve water and air quality. Be smart about what and where trees are planted, taking care to keep them far enough from structures that they don’t pose a danger in high-wind events. If needed, consult a tree professional for planting tips.

Cost: Prices vary depending on tree species, age and size but good deals do abound. For a $10 membership, the Arbor Day Foundation will send 10 seedlings chosen for your geographic area. Check the foundation’s tree store for  more sizes and varieties by going online at www.arborday.org.

Benefits: Can provide shelter and shade from weather extremes, contribute to a healthy environment, attract wildlife and help fight global warming. Can increase house values up to 15 percent. Also, planting the right trees in the right places can reduce annual heating and cooling costs by as much as 30 percent.

For more mitigation information, visit: https://www.fema.gov/mitigation-ideas-and-tips-rebuilding

 

Staying Safe During & After a Disaster

  • Make sure food is safe to eat.
    • Never taste food to determine if it’s safe to eat.
    • Food may have spoiled if refrigeration was lost during power outage.
    • Throw away any food that touched flood water.
  • Keep children out of flood water. Flood waters may contain hazardous materials or dangerous animals.
  • Extreme heat and humidity can be dangerous. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and take frequent rest breaks.
  • Travel conditions remain extremely hazardous in areas affected by Hurricane Florence. Stay alert. Do not return home until local officials say it’s safe.

How to Help After a Disaster

When disaster strikes, every little bit helps. To make the most of your contributions, please follow our guidelines to learn the most effective and safest ways to donate cash, goods, or time following a disaster.  How to help after a disaster. The best way to help is with cash donations to trusted organizations. · Cash is efficient, flexible to use, and requires no packaging or transport. · Trusted organizations will ensure your money goes to help those in need.FEMA does not transport donations, please work with a trusted organization.

Volunteering

  • If you want to get involved in response and recovery efforts, you should first connect with an established team. A list of reputable volunteer agencies is available on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website at nvoad.org. Or, visit VolunteerNC at nc.gov/volunteer.

 

  • North Carolina officials ask that volunteers not self-deploy because unexpected arrival in affected communities creates an additional burden for first responders and may fill lodging needed by survivors.

Donations

  • To ensure your financial contribution is used responsibly, only donate to reputable organizations. Visit the NC Disaster Relief Fund at governor.nc.gov/donate- florence-recovery and click “Donate to Hurricane Recovery,” or text “FLORENCE” to 20222.
    • Never forget – cash is best! A financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization is the most effective donation to make. 

Cleaning Up After a Disaster

Below are a few simple guidelines to follow that will make the clean-up and salvage process safer and easier:

Returning Home

  • Always wear protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber or plastic gloves and waterproof boots or shoes.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines and other exterior damage.
  • Take photos of your damage before you begin clean up and save repair receipts.
  • Your home may be contaminated with mold, which raises the health risk for those with asthma, allergies and breathing conditions.
  • Open doors and windows so your house can air out before spending any length of time inside.
  • Turn off main electrical power and water systems and don’t use gas appliances until a professional can ensure they are safe.
  • Check all ceilings and floors for signs of sagging or other potentially dangerous structural damage.
  • Throw out all foods, beverages and medicines exposed to flood waters or mud including canned goods and containers with food or liquid.
  • Also, throw out any items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected (mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals, etc.).
  • Beware of snakes, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.

 

 

Trusted Information Sources

  •  A rumor control page has been set up to dispel false information about Hurricane Florence.
  • Call 2-1-1 or text “FLORENCE” to 898211 for questions about Hurricane Florence.
  • Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) to receive emergency alerts and find a shelter. Free and available on Apple and Android devices.
  • Beware of post-storm donation scams. Research before you donate and only donate to reputable organizations.
  • In North Carolina, visit the NC Disaster Relief Fund and click “Donate to Hurricane Recovery,” or text "FLORENCE" to 20222.

 

Related Links

Last Updated: 2018-10-11 04:00