Disaster-relief opportunities

Published 2:58 pm Thursday, October 13, 2016

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, storm/flood victims should register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by mobile device at m.fema.gov or call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). These toll-free numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Operators are ready to assist people in multiple languages.

Information needed when seeking assistance:

  • Social Security number;
  • address of the damaged home or apartment;
  • description of the damage;
  • information about insurance coverage;
  • a current contact telephone number;
  • an address where you can receive mail;
  • bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.


Small Business Administration

SBA offers several ways to apply for a disaster loan: online application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela; visit a recovery center for one-one-one assistance; or download an application from www.sba.gov/disaster. For information or to request application forms, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov (link sends e-mail). Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.


Farm Service Agency

FSA, a federal agency, also offers low-interest loans to assist in recovery efforts in the aftermath of qualifying natural disasters.

At least eight aid programs are offered by FSA, including help with crop loss, livestock loss and tree loss. Emergency assistance is available for honeybee operations and fish farms

For details on the FSA disaster assistance programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ or call the FSA office in Washington at 946-1076.


N.C. Department of Insurance

The department has activated its Disaster Mediation Program to help homeowners resolve disputed homeowners insurance claims for residential property damage resulting from Hurricane Matthew. For more information about insurance claims, go online at www.NCHurriClaims.com or call the Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212 to speak to a consumer-services specialist.



Eastern North Carolina Region-American Red Cross

Washington office, 946-4110. 132 N. Market St.

As more disaster-relief and/or recovery opportunities become available, they will be added to this list.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike