FEMA specialists ready to assist residents, homeowners

Published 12:55 pm Thursday, February 2, 2017

Victims of Hurricane Matthew and subsequent flooding who need advice on how to keep future storms from causing similar damage to their homes can find that advice Friday at the Beaufort County Emergency Services office at 1420 Highland Drive, Washington.

Federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation specialists will be at the BCES headquarters from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Most of the information and the free publications provided are geared for do-it-yourself work and general contractors. Recovery topics to be covered include flood insurance, elevating utilities and rebuilding flooded homes,” according to a FEMA news release. Free reference booklets with information on protecting home from flood damage are available at the BCES office. More information about strengthening property can be found at www.fema.gov/what-mitigation.

David Mace, a FEMA media specialist, said, “We have some folks here in town helping people with advice on rebuilding.”

The goal of FEMA’s mitigation program, according to the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, is “to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. In order for mitigation to be effective we need to take action now — before the next disaster — to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk and insuring against risk). It is important to know that disasters can happen at any time and any place and if we are not prepared, consequences can be fatal.”

The mitigation specialists can provide information to help residents avoid flooding and wind damage in the future such as:

  • relocating main electric switchbox above potential floodwaters;
  • relocating electric outlets and switches above potential floodwaters;
  • moving washer and dryer to a higher floor;
  • elevating furnace and water heater;
  • having a licensed plumber install a backflow valve to prevent sewer backup;
  • purchasing flood insurance;
  • bracing gable-end roofs;
  • applying new roof shingles.


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