Storm victims might be qualified for child-care help

Published 6:37 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

More and more federal disaster relief continues to be approved for North Carolina victims of Hurricane Florence.

Some of those victims are applying for that assistance at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster recovery center at the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center at 231 E. Seventh St. in Washington. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.

Since it opened last week, the center has been busy.

“As for Friday (Sept. 28), we had about 880 people that had been registered, and was either through field agents or the disaster-recovery enter itself. As for the number of people who have actually been in that building, I don’t know that,” said Chris Newkirk, operations chief of fire and emergency management with the Beaufort County Emergency Services, on Monday. He said he expected that number to increase as more victims sought federal aid to recover from the storm.

According to the FEMA website, $84,615,319.16 — from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual & Households Program — has been approved for 23,324 applicants, with that amount expected to increase as more people register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Although the amount is approved, it might not necessarily immediately disbursed. That could take days, possibly weeks.

Housing assistance provides money for disaster-related housing needs, while other-needs assistance provides funds for other disaster-related needs such as household furnishings, transportation and medical care.

Other-needs assistance includes child-care aid for eligible victims.

FEMA provides financial assistance to individuals and households who have a disaster-caused increased financial burden for child care. FEMA will award a one-time payment for child-care assistance for the household’s increased financial burden for up to eight cumulative weeks of child care, plus any eligible expenses, or the maximum amount of assistance for child care assistance identified by the state, territorial, or tribal government, whichever is less. FEMA may provide financial assistance to address disaster-caused child-care expenses for eligible households with:

  • children aged 13 and under;
  • and/or children aged 14 up to 18 with a disability, as defined by federal law, who need assistance caring for themselves.

Other than going to a disaster recovery center, there are three ways to reach FEMA to register for possible disaster assistance:

  • online at;
  • call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585;
  • download the FEMA mobile app.

Anyone applying for assistance will need the following:

  • Social Security number;
  • daytime telephone number;
  • current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property;
  • insurance information, if available.

North Carolina homeowners, renters and business owners in 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 counties may apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Florence.

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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