FEMA announces housing assistance for Florence victims

FEMA announces housing assistance for Florence victims
If you cannot live in your home because of storm damage, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY)

SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - If your home was damaged by Hurricane Florence and it's unsafe to live in, or you just can't get to it, help is available to get you on the road to recovery.

Do you have insurance? If you have a homeowner's or flood insurance policy, file your insurance claim immediately before applying for disaster assistance. Get the process started quickly. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin.

If you cannot return to your home, or if you are unable to live in your home because of disaster damage, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, 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.

If you can return to your home and it is safe, has working power, water, and sewer or septic service, visit DisasterAssistance.gov to determine if state, voluntary, and local organizations are in your community can address any unmet needs.

Disaster assistance is available to affected individuals in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne counties. Additional counties may be added later.

If you are in one of these counties, you will need the following to apply for assistance:

  • Social Security Number
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property
  • Insurance information, if available.

Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, sanitary and secure.

FEMA assistance may also provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your recovery plan.

After registering for disaster assistance, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In times of disasters, the SBA offers low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters. The SBA will contact you with information on how to apply. There's no obligation to accept a loan.

Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans and application forms are available online at SBA.gov/disaster. You may also call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. If you use TTY, call 800-877-8339.

Here's how FEMA works:

Directly after disaster strikes, FEMA also works with other government agencies that provide relief in the areas of transportation, communications, medical care, search and rescue, hazardous materials and more.

This coordination of government wide relief efforts is called the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act which was signed into law in 1988.

Here are ways FEMA helps once basic and immediate needs are taken care of directly after a disaster.

Medical: The agency will help with medical treatment and medical expenses and costs associated with loss of life.

Property: The agency will aid in transporting, storing and/or replacing private property and it will help with rebuilding efforts and moving expenses.

Housing: The agency can assist with temporary housing arrangements, provide resources for grant money to help with uninsured homes that were destroyed and help cover damages not covered by insurance.

Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved. The Raycom News Network contributed to this report.