The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Hurricane Florence - BY WILL DORAN wdo­[email protected]­sob­server.com Doran: 919- 836-2858; Twit­ter: @will_­do­ran

Tips to ma­neu­ver through the re­lief red tape.

If your home was dam­aged in Hur­ri­cane Florence, you may be able to get help from the fed­eral govern­ment to cover some of the costs. It doesn’t mat­ter if you rent or own, or whether you have in­surance cov­er­age.

The 27 of­fi­cial dis­as­ter­stricken coun­ties in North Carolina are Beau­fort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Colum­bus, Craven, Cum­ber­land, Du­plin, Har­nett, Hoke, Hyde, John­ston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pam­lico, Pen­der, Pitt, Rich­mond, Robe­son, Samp­son, Scot­land, Wayne and Wil­son.

In South Carolina, Dil­lon, Horry, Mar­ion and Marl­boro coun­ties qual­ify for FEMA’s in­di­vid­ual as­sis­tance.

As­sis­tance can in­clude grants for tem­po­rary hous­ing and home re­pairs, low-cost loans to cover unin­sured prop­erty losses, and other pro­grams to help in­di­vid­u­als and busi­ness own­ers.

Be­gin ap­ply­ing for as­sis­tance by reg­is­ter­ing on­line at www.Disas­ter As­sis­tance.gov or by call­ing 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 for the hear­ing and speech im­paired. The toll-free tele­phone num­bers will op­er­ate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.


Peo­ple ap­ply­ing for FEMA aid need to be able to pro­vide some iden­ti­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing:

Your So­cial Se­cu­rity

num­ber, or the so­cial se­cu­rity num­ber of a child liv­ing at the house.

An­nual house­hold


Con­tact in­for­ma­tion,

in­surance in­for­ma­tion and bank ac­count in­for­ma­tion.

FEMA also needs ap­pli­cants’ bank ac­count in­for­ma­tion so that if they’re ap­proved for aid, the agency can di­rectly de­posit the money into their ac­counts.

FEMA aid only is avail- able for your pri­mary res­i­dence — not va­ca­tion homes.


The North Carolina govern­ment also can help with re­build­ing or re­pair­ing your home. You’ll need to pro­vide a photo ID and proof of ei­ther cit­i­zen­ship or le­gal res­i­dency, and proof that you lived in the dam­aged home among other doc­u­ments. Find de­tails on­line at www.re­build.nc.gov/ ap­ply.

In South Carolina, the One SC Fund pro­vides grants to non­prof­its who pro­vide re­lief, re­cov­ery or re­build­ing as­sis­tance to in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies. It sug­gests in­di­vid­u­als need­ing help con­tact United Way of South Carolina’s 2-1-1 hot­line.


If you lost your job due to the storm and live in a disas­ter county you might be el­i­gi­ble for un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits even if you nor­mally wouldn’t qual­ify or have al­ready used up your reg­u­lar un­em­ploy- ment ben­e­fits.

The dead­line to ap­ply is Oct. 18. To learn more or to ap­ply, peo­ple can call the North Carolina Di­vi­sion of Em­ploy­ment Se­cu­rity at 1-866-795-8877, email [email protected]­com­merce.com or go on­line to https://des.nc.gov.

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster signed ex­ec­u­tive or­ders grant­ing paid leave to state goven­r­ment em­ploy­ees who missed work be­cause they were forced to evac­u­ate or be­cause of the state of emer­gency de­clared be­fore the hur­ri­cane.


Low-in­ter­est loans for avail­able to home­own­ers, renters and busi­ness own­ers through the Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion. Go to https://dis­as­ter­loan. sba.gov

Busi­ness own­ers whose prop­erty sus­tained dam­age from the storm or eco­nomic losses from hav­ing to close down — even if there were no phys­i­cal dam­ages — can qual­ify for SBA loans. So can losses that oc­curred if a busi­ness had one or more of its em­ploy­ees called up for emer­gency re­sponse duty be­cause they’re in the mil­i­tary re­serves.


Both North Carolina and the fed­eral govern­ment are ex­tend­ing some tax fil­ing dead­lines — which had passed on Sept. 7 — un­til Jan. 31, 2019 for cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses. To learn more about whether that ap­plies to you, go to the N.C. Depart­ment of Rev­enue web­site at www.nc­dor.gov.

The S.C. Depart­ment of Rev­enue says it will work with tax­pay­ers on a caseby-case ba­sis to waive any penal­ties as­sessed for not meet­ing state fil­ing or pay­ment re­quire­ments as a re­sult of Hur­ri­cane Florence. Find out more at dor.sc.gov/dis­as­ter­re­lief.


A gas pump lies on the ground after strong winds in Wilm­ing­ton, N.C., top­pled it after Hur­ri­cane Florence made land­fall Sept. 14.

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