DURHAM, N.C. – Hurricane Matthew left a $1.5 billion impact on North Carolina, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the state has made significant progress on recovery. As the aftermath of Matthew fades, the accomplishments of those who survived the storm verify a basic truth about disasters: Recovery takes the Whole Community.
North Carolina has taken significant steps toward recovery following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Affected communities and disaster survivors are repairing and rebuilding better, stronger and safer with the help of neighbors, friends, family members, voluntary groups, faith- and community-based organizations and local, county, state and federal governments.
The following highlights recovery progress made in the six months since the Oct.10 presidential disaster declaration, and how disaster survivors and affected communities are overcoming challenges:
The declaration made 45 counties eligible to apply for help under FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) program.
In addition, local, county and state government infrastructure and certain private nonprofit organizations in 50 counties became eligible to receive funding through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program to repair and rebuild certain eligible disaster-damaged facilities. Local, county and state government expenses related to debris removal, saving lives, providing security, and managing the immediate response became eligible for reimbursement.
Hazard Mitigation Grant funds were made available statewide. Because North Carolina took proactive efforts in Emergency Management, the state mitigation funding amount is 5 percent more than those states that meet minimum requirements. This will bring millions of additional dollars to the state for recovery programs.
Big Disaster Takes Big Response
FEMA individual assistance to North Carolina has surpassed $96 million, with nearly 82,000 survivors applying for federal and state assistance for housing, personal property and other expenses.
- 82,000 North Carolina residents registered with FEMA.
- Nearly $67 million approved for housing assistance, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- More than $29 million has been approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- More than $97 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- 271 households are currently checked in the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program. 100 households have been licensed-in to Manufactured Housing Units. At the height of the TSA program, more than 1900 survivors approved for housing.
- Nearly $188 million National Flood Insurance Program claims paid. Nearly 6,000 flood insurance claims received.
- At peak operations, more than 1,300 federal employees worked the disaster in North Carolina.
- The state and FEMA staffed and operated 38 Disaster Recovery Centers and Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers. Before establishing DRCs, more than 200 Disaster Survivor Assistance team members went from door to door and store to store in damaged areas to provide information on FEMA assistance. They also staffed Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers that went to busy areas to provide information.
- Public Assistance, which funds the rebuilding of infrastructure, public structures and reimburses local government for emergency response during disasters have received nearly 450 applications with nearly 2,100 projects identified, totaling more than $413 million; 377 projects have been obligated for over $32 million (federal share).
- FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation 406 program proposals can augment Public Assistance funding, as is the case in North Carolina. To date, mitigation staff identified 28 projects for additional mitigation funding, totaling nearly $1.6 million.
- Hazard Mitigation’s Community Education Outreach counseled 9,020 survivors at 38 Disaster Recovery Centers and Mobile Recovery Centers and 3,000 individuals at building supply stores, municipal buildings, libraries and fire departments on the importance of incorporating mitigation measures into recovery building projects.
- In partnership with the state, FEMA’s 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program staff have supported North Carolina Emergency Management in collecting more than 2,300 homeowner applications for acquisition, elevation or reconstruction of homes to reduce the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters.
Volunteers: The Backbone of long-term recovery
Recovery has significantly progressed because of voluntary, faith and community-based groups that are donating their time and skills to help survivors muck out, repair and rebuild their homes. These groups are always the first and last presence to help disaster survivors recover.
Voluntary organizations have served over 1.6 million meals and 284,292 snacks and provided over 200,000 goods and services to thousands of people –and pets –in need. Long Term Recovery Committees are established in some affected communities and forming in others to assist those who still have unmet needs.
Interagency Recovery Coordination
The IRC multiagency group brings the full force of the federal family to federally declared disasters to identify the tools and resources necessary to support the state on its path to a sustained recovery.
The key outcome is the acceleration of the recovery process after a disaster through collaborative and inclusive planning processes with federal, state, tribal and local partners. Efforts include coordinating with whole community partners, mitigating risks, incorporating continuity planning, identifying resources, and developing capacity to effectively manage the recovery process.
All six of the Recovery Support Functions were activated for North Carolina. Five remain active including:
- Community Planning and Capacity Building - FEMA
- Economic - U.S. Department of Commerce - Economic Development Administration
- Housing - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Infrastructure Systems - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Natural and Cultural Resources - U.S. Department of Interior
The group has completed the Mission Scoping Assessment, a compilation of issues the recovery support functions found in North Carolina. The group is currently working on the Recovery Support Strategy, which will suggest actions to aid the state in recovery.
Whole community partners continue to collaborate to find solutions to enable North Carolinas recovery and will be here as long as it takes.
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 800-621-3362 or TTY at 800-462-7585.
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 FEMA on Twitter at @femaregion4. Download the FEMA app with tools and tips to keep you safe before, during and after disasters.
Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 to speak with a trained call specialist about questions you have regarding Hurricane Matthew; the service is free, confidential and available in any language. They can help direct you to resources. Call 5-1-1 or 877-511-4662 for the latest road conditions or check the ReadyNC mobile app, which also has real-time shelter and evacuation information. For updates on Hurricane Matthew impacts and relief efforts, go to ReadyNC.org or follow N.C. Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook. People or organizations that want to help ensure North Carolina recovers can visit NCdisasterrelief.org or text NCRecovers to 30306.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations 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 Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.