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FEMA offers resources for unmet needs of N.C. Florence survivors

(Ken Blevins/The Star-News via AP)

FEMA is still offering resources for any unmet needs of those in North Carolina who survived Hurricane Florence.

Although the deadline has passed to register for disaster assistance and apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loan, FEMA says help is still available from the state and federal governments.

A full list of those resources is listed below:

State Assistance

Hurricane Florence Recovery

  • For information regarding Hurricane Florence recovery visit the North Carolina Department of Public Safety at ncdps.gov/Florence or call 919-733-2126.

North Carolina Emergency Management IA Helpline

  • The NCEM Individual Assistance Helpline, 919-825-2378, is available for those who suffered damage or loss or property as a result of Hurricane Florence or have issues related to their FEMA status updates, appeals, unmet needs, housing assistance, repairs, and medical equipment.

ReadyNC

  • Download the ReadyNC app. This all-in-one tool provides resources for everything from traffic jams to hurricanes and ice storms. The app gives information on real-time traffic and weather conditions, river levels, evacuations and power outages.

NC 2-1-1

  • Survivors who do not qualify for FEMA disaster assistance may call 2-1-1, the statewide information line that can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, or text Florence to 898211. The information line is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to disaster-related resources.

Housing

  • The North Carolina Department of Human and Health Services, in partnership with the NC Coalition to End Homelessness, the NC Housing Finance Agency and other state agencies and partners, is continuing to house individuals and families affected by Hurricane Florence at risk of homelessness through the Back@Home initiative. Back@Home may help those who don't qualify or receive limited FEMA assistance and still need help with housing or other services.

Available Housing Information

  • North Carolina residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Florence may search for available housing on NCHousingSearch.org, Property owners and managers can add and/or update listings of available units. Login or call toll-free 877-428-8844 for assistance.

Disaster Legal Services

  • Free legal services are available for low-income survivors of Hurricane Florence. Attorneys may be able to assist survivors with disaster-related legal matters. Call the Disaster Legal Hotline at 833-242-3549.
  • Legal Aid North Carolina will help Hurricane Florence survivors file FEMA appeals and reconsiderations at free Saturday clinics on Jan. 12 in New Bern, Feb. 9 in Wilmington and Feb. 23 in Morehead City. For details, go online to legalaidnc.org/about-us/news/fema-appeals-clinics.

Disaster Distress Helpline

  • If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by Florence, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 any time day or night to speak with a trained crisis counselor. Or text TalkWithUs to 66746. For Spanish, text Hablanos to 66746. Additional information is available online at Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disaster Distress Helpline.

Insurance Hotline

  • If you need help with your insurance claim or settlements, call the North Carolina Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212. For more information, go to NCHurriClaims.com.

Services for Seniors

County Departments of Social Services

Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Services

  • The NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services works to promote excellence in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs for persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders in North Carolina. Visit their website: ncdhhs.gov/divisions/mhddsas.

Federal Assistance

U.S. Small Business Administration

  • Economic injury disaster loans are available from the SBA to provide disaster-related working capital to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications as a result of Hurricane Florence is June 14, 2019. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development

  • HUD has activated the Disaster Assistance Hotline for North Carolinians living in HUD-assisted housing who were affected by Hurricane Florence. Call 800-304-9320. Survivors can also email recovery@hud.gov to contact HUD. Additional information is available at HUD Disaster Relief Options for FHA Homeowners.
  • The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes, including manufactured homes. Call the FHA 800-304-9320 to learn about resources. To find an approved lender near you, visit HUD Lender List Search.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Farmers and ranchers may also be eligible to apply for disaster assistance for damage or losses from Florence. Along with FEMA grants and SBA loans, farmers and ranchers may be eligible for emergency loans through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Eligible losses covered by emergency loans and other programs may include crops and livestock. For more information, go online to fsa.usda.gov or visit the nearest FSA office.

Internal Revenue Service

  • Survivors of Hurricane Florence may qualify for disaster tax relief from the IRS. Taxpayers may be eligible for deadline extensions to file returns or pay taxes and may be able to claim qualified disaster losses. The IRS may waive fees and expedite requests from survivors. To download forms and publications, go to irs.gov or call 800-829-3676.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • The website for the Office for Civil Rights division of HHS provides information on effective planning, response and recovery for people who have special needs. Before, during and after a disaster, members of this population may have additional needs to maintain independence, communication, transportation, supervision and medical care. Visit Office of Civil Rights Special Needs Training.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline, a national hotline, offers year-round disaster crisis counseling. You may call 800-985-5990 (TTY 800-846-8517) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you feel distressed because of the effects of Hurricane Florence, you may use this free service. It is toll-free, multilingual, crisis support. Visit the website at samhsa.gov for more information.

Disaster Fraud Hotline

  • If you suspect fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of disaster relief operations, call the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. (Calls can be made anonymously and confidentially.)

Other Resources

Volunteer Opportunities

Donate to Florence Recovery

  • The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is accepting contributions for Hurricane Florence damage that will help with unmet needs of Hurricane Florence survivors. Contributions may be made online by secure link after you submit the webform at governor.nc.gov/donate-florence-recovery. You also may text FLORENCE to 20222 or mail your donation to North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund, 20312 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699.
  • Cash donations offer volunteer agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and bring money into the local economy to help businesses recover.

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