COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) are opening a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Berkeley County at the County Administration Building Emergency Operations Center. The DRC is to support residents of Berkeley, Charleston and Georgetown counties who suffered damage from the multiple storms that began with Hurricane Frances on September 6 and continued through October 11. The three counties were recently added to the October 7 presidential disaster declaration bringing the total number of counties now eligible for federal assistance to 28.
Disaster recovery specialists from various local, state and federal agencies will be at the center to assist individuals and answer questions regarding disaster assistance.
The DRC will be open for five days:
Monday, November 1 through Friday, November 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Address information for the Berkeley County DRC:
Berkeley County Administration Building
Emergency Operations Center
223 N. Live Oak Drive
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Individuals should begin the disaster application process by calling the toll-free registration numbers: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week until further notice. Individuals with Internet access now have the option to register on the agency's website at http://www.fema.gov, where other valuable recovery information is also available.
"As people are putting their lives back together, the most important step is to call the toll-free numbers" said Michael Bolch, federal coordinating officer for FEMA's disaster recovery efforts. "Call volume is high due to the number of storms across the country. Don't get discouraged; continue to call until you get through. Non-peak calling times are evenings after 6 p.m. and on weekends."
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.