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Disaster Assistance Tops $116 Million for Hurricane Matthew Survivors in South Carolina

Release date: 
December 7, 2016
Release Number: 
NR: 051

COLUMBIA, S.C.--Two months after the presidential disaster declaration for storm and flood damage relief from Hurricane Matthew in South Carolina, federal assistance has climbed to $116.9 million.

That total includes:

  • More than $33.8 million in Individual Assistance disaster recovery grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for homeowners and renters. More than 44,700 individuals and households have applied for disaster assistance from FEMA.
  • More than $31.6 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
  • More than $38.4 million in flood insurance payments from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • More than $13.1 million in Public Assistance obligations to reimburse local governments for eligible costs of responding to the floods and repairing or rebuilding public facilities.

Recovery highlights include:

  • The $33.8 million in disaster recovery grants from FEMA including more than $28 million in Housing Assistance to help homeowners and renters with temporary housing and essential home repairs and more than $5.8 million in Other Needs Assistance, including grants for the replacement of damaged vehicles and personal property, as well as reimbursements for serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
  • The SBA has approved 922 low-interest disaster loans, including 865 home loans, 39 business loans and 18 Economic Injury Disaster Loans for small businesses. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs or rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property.
  • A total of the 24 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers (MDRCs) have been opened by the State and FEMA. They have assisted more than 7,600 survivors. As of today, five DRCs remain open in Beaufort, Georgetown, Hilton Head, Mullins, and Sumter. To find a DRC location near you, and its hours, download the free FEMA app on your mobile device or visit
  • In addition, the SBA opened three Business Recovery Centers to enable storm-impacted businesses to meet individually with SBA representatives and find out how a low-interest disaster loan can help them recover.
  • FEMA-contracted housing inspectors have completed more than 31,500 inspections of disaster-damaged homes to verify damage and eligibility for FEMA assistance.
  • A total of 202 Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) personnel visited nearly 55,000 homes in storm-damaged neighborhoods. They are equipped with laptop computers to register survivors with FEMA and to answer their questions about disaster assistance.
  • The NFIP, which is administered by FEMA, has paid out partial and advanced payments totaling $38 million to 6,610 policyholders.
  • Hazard Mitigation Community Education Outreach experts have advised more than 4,400 survivors how to rebuild their homes stronger and safer after the floods. They have been present at DRCs and MDRCs and at hardware and lumber stores.
  • To date, $13.1 million has been obligated in Public Assistance grants to reimburse local, state and tribal governments and certain private non-profits for 75 percent of their disaster-related expenses and repairs, providing financial relief for hard-hit communities. The state and the applicant split the remaining 25 percent.

Although Public Assistance funds go to local governments and certain nonprofits, they benefit everyone—communities, cities and the state. Those federal dollars help pay for efforts to keep people and property safe. Public Assistance funds also clean up disaster-related debris, put roads, utilities and public works back in order and repair or replace public structures. In many cases, local taxpayers would otherwise have to pay the costs that FEMA Public Assistance grants are covering.

More than 44,700 individuals and households have applied for disaster assistance from FEMA. Residents of 24 counties are eligible for Individual Assistance: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Sumter andWilliamsburg.

Those 24 counties also are eligible for Public Assistance, along with Kershaw and Richland.

Survivors can apply online at or by phone at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or relay service) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

Survivors who have questions about their flood insurance policies and coverage should contact the NFIP call center at 800-621-3362 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Specialists can help with service claims, provide general information regarding policies and offer technical assistance to aid in recovery.

For more information about SBA loans, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email, or visit TTY users may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

For more information about the disaster recovery operation, please visit or the South Carolina Emergency Management Division at

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

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. Follow us on Twitter at and the FEMA Blog at

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s website at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:01