ATTENTION EDITORS: This story contains a link to a video illustrating Hurricane Florence response activities. The video is available for use by media. Broadcast-quality version of the video may be downloaded. FEMA’s video website also offers code for web editors to embed the video on news media or local government websites.
At Six-Month Mark, Florence Recovery is Moving Ahead
DURHAM, N.C. – Six months after what state officials say is the costliest disaster in North Carolina history, recovery from Hurricane Florence has made significant progress. State and federal agencies, volunteers and nonprofits continue to work together.
More than $1.2 billion in federal assistance has been provided to Hurricane Florence survivors. This includes National Flood Insurance Program insurance payments; FEMA grants for temporary rental assistance, basic home repairs, and other needs not covered by insurance; and U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.
"Hurricane Florence was a devastating storm that swamped homes, businesses, farms, schools and entire communities," said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. "But the devastation was quickly followed by amazing acts of bravery and kindness from first responders, volunteers, and neighbors helping neighbors, and impressive cooperation among local, state and federal partners to get help to those in need. People hit hard by Florence are determined to recover and we’re determined to rebuild North Carolina stronger and smarter."
FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Albie Lewis, who is overseeing federal efforts in this disaster, concurs. "Much progress has been made. We know much work remains and FEMA and its federal partners will continue to support North Carolina along the way."
Streaming Video: Big Disaster Requires Big Response, Recovery Efforts
FEMA and its federal partners were on the ground assisting state and local governments even before Hurricane Florence was making landfall. FEMA delivered more than 2.7 million meals and 2.6 million liters of water to the state.
North Carolina Emergency Management’s Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC) was actively engaged with its private sector partners which provided resources and services following the storm and $20 million in cash donations to volunteer organizations to aid North Carolinians.
At peak operations, more than 1,500 federal employees supported the disaster recovery in North Carolina.
Disaster Recovery Summary as of March 1, 2019
• Federal assistance approved to assist North Carolinians has surpassed $1.2 billion. o More than $128 million in Individual Assistance grants were approved for rental assistance to households, home repair or replacement, personal property and other expenses.
o More than $394.1 million in low-interest disaster loans for 9,856 homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
o An estimated $593.1 million in flood claims have been paid by the National Flood Insurance Program. More than 15,000 flood insurance claims were filed.
• FEMA has paid nearly $6 million directly to hotels for the emergency sheltering of 872 families; 675 have moved on to longer-term housing.
• FEMA is still working with hundreds of families who were among the most severely affected by housing them in 660 FEMA-supplied temporary housing units on private sites and in commercial mobile home parks.
• The Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program provides temporary and partial repairs to make homes safe, clean and secure. STEP helps North Carolina homeowners with minor damage get back in their homes while permanent repairs continue. The State of North Carolina reports: o More than 4,250 homeowners elected to participate in the state-managed program available in 12 counties.
o More than 650 homes have either been completed or have a work order underway.
• Recovery has significantly progressed because of voluntary, faith and community-based groups 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. o Voluntary organizations have served more than 1 million meals and 18,725 snacks and provided goods and services to thousands of people –and pets –in need.
o 32 Long Term Recovery Groups comprised of nonprofits and volunteer agencies are engaged in their communities to assist survivors who still have unmet needs.
• The state and FEMA staffed and operated 23 Disaster Recovery Centers to provide one-on-one assistance to those affected, which were visited by more than 42,000 people.
• Disaster Survivor Assistance teams went door to door to 113,069 homes in damaged areas to provide information on FEMA assistance.
• Public Assistance, which funds the rebuilding of infrastructure and public structures as well as reimburses local government for emergency response during disasters, has received 511 eligible applications; 175 projects have been funded for more than $98.7 million.
• More than 150 private sector partners coordinated with FEMA to provide helpful disaster assistance information to 1.4 million North Carolinians.
FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during and after disasters