FEMA/SBA deadline extended into January

Published 12:29 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

It’s been about six weeks since counties in eastern North Carolina were declared eligible for federal disaster-recovery assistance, and some victims of Hurricane Matthew and associated flooding still have the opportunity to register for federal assistance.

The disaster recovery center that was open in Beaufort County for four days last week closed a week ago. Other such “mobilized” centers — open for a few days — in the region are closed or will be closing shortly. County residents, property owners, renters and business owners who have not registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance may still do so, and they may speak with a FEMA representative in a one-on-one setting if they have questions about federal assistance or need more information about what types of aid are available.

“The remaining DRC’s are what we call “mobiles,” such as the one that was in Beaufort. They generally open for about three days and then move on to other locations. I do not have a final date for these DRC’s,” wrote Nate Custer, a FEMA media specialist, in an email.

Still, storm victims have two options for ongoing one-on-one assistance in the region.

“We only have two disaster recovery centers which do not have closing dates, Tarboro and Greenville,” according to Custer. The Tarboro center is at Riverside Plaza, 1600 W. Howard Ave., Tarboro, and the Greenville center is at the Pitt County Agricultural Center, 403 Government Circle,


The centers are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. The centers will be closed Thanksgiving.

The number of FEMA employees working at the centers will be diminishing in coming days. “Many of the reservists who staff the DRC’s will be released from their NC deployments and returning home, quite a few in time for Thanksgiving. But there certainly is not going to be a large scale pull out of FEMA personnel from NC because the recovery has a long way to go,” Custer wrote.

The latest weekly report on registrations with FEMA and the amount of assistance approved for storm victims shows 604 registrants as of Wednesday. Not all registrants are approved for assistance, but Beaufort County has received $715,014.22 in assistance through Wednesday, according to FEMA data.

Statewide, 71,809 registrations have been made, with nearly $75 million in assistance approved through Wednesday.

The latest data from the Small Business Administration shows 1,001 applications for SBA assistance in North Carolina have been approved, with nearly $35 million allocated for storm victims.

The assistance is in the form of disaster loans for physical property damage and economic injury. For businesses, interest rates on loans can be as low as 4 percent. For private nonprofit groups, interest rates on loans can be as low as 2.625 percent. Loans for homeowners and renters may have interest rates as low as 1.563 percent. Payback terms could be up to 30 years.

The FEMA/SBA deadline to apply for assistance has been extended to Jan. 9, 2017.

Homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered losses or damages caused by Matthew should call 1-800-621-3362 to register for assistance or go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov and register by downloading FEMA’s mobile app, according to a news release. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, the number is also 1-800-621-3362. For people using TTY, the number is 1-800-462-7585. 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.







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.

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