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Hurricane Florence Rumor Control

Rumor: Home Inspectors Ask Applicants for their Registration Number.

Fact: FEMA inspectors will never ask you for the unique nine digit registration number you were assigned when you applied; they will have it on file. Ask the inspector to confirm your registration number if you're suspicious of your home inspector.

Rumor: FEMA Emergency Lodging Assistance will pay for hotels.

Fact: Transitional Shelter Assistance is currently not available through FEMA for Florence survivors.  If you cannot return to your home, or if you are unable to live in your home because of disaster damage, visit, 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

Rumor: The Brunswick nuclear power plant is in danger due to nearby flooding.

Fact: Both reactors at Brunswick are safe and stable. They both have power from the grid and their safety systems are working normally. Plant operators declared an unusual event, the lowest NRC emergency classification, due to flood waters and storm damage limiting access to the site by personal vehicles.

Rumor: There are reports that residents in the Carolinas are being told they can buy a flood insurance policy now, and that it will cover the flood water damage caused by Hurricane Florence.

Fact: It typically takes 30 days from the date an NFIP policy is purchased for it to go into effect. Learn more about the waiting period, why you should have flood insurance, and how to buy it.

Rumor: There are reports that all emergency shelters and hotels are required to accommodate pets for people who have evacuated.

Fact: Service animals are not pets. The Americans with Disabilities Act generally requires hotels and evacuation shelters to accommodate service animals.
Private businesses, such as hotels, are not required to accept pets. Not all shelters accept pets. Check local media, or contact your local emergency management agency for shelters that do allow pets.
Pet-friendly shelters may have requirements and restrictions for pets. Check their requirements before arriving at the site.
Check out for more tips on evacuating with your pet.

Rumor: Service animals are not allowed in shelters.

Fact: All service animals are allowed in shelters. Service animals are not pets. Service animals, which are individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability, are authorized to relocate to survivor shelters per the “Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.”  

Rumor: Nearly $10M was diverted from FEMA’s hurricane relief fund to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Fact:Funding was diverted from FEMA’s operational budgets for travel, training, public engagement and information technology.  The amount diverted is less than 1 percent of FEMA’s annual operating budget.

Rumor: EPA does not have budget to respond to natural disasters

Fact: EPA does have the budget and the staff to respond to natural disasters. The budget increased over the last two fiscal years by $5 million.

Rumor: FEMA does not have enough commodities on the ground in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

Fact:The private sector is the first source for goods in the potentially affected areas. When their supply chain is disrupted, or stores are unable to open, then state, local and voluntary agencies will provide needed supplies.  FEMA, working in coordination with those officials, will augment state and local resources as needed and requested.

At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories.

FEMA is forward staging meals, water, cots, blankets and other resources at Incident Support Bases in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, and West Virginia to supplement the needs following Hurricane Florence.  The quantity of supplies on hand will fluctuate as supplies are continuously moving.

Rumor: There are rumors that FEMA has a role in enforcing Evacuation orders. 

Fact: FEMA does not have authority to issue or enforce evacuation orders. Only local and state public safety and emergency management officials have authority for issuing and enforcing voluntary and mandatory evacuations

Rumor: There are reports that beach sand should be used if sand bag distribution sites are out of sand.

Fact: Local emergency management in coastal areas is warning residents not to use beach sand for sandbagging. Residents should NOT be heading toward the beach. Also, sand at the beach is a vital barrier, acting as the first line of defense against the storm.

Last Updated: 
09/21/2018 - 17:48