FEMA continues to provide assistance to storm victims

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2003

WINDSOR – In a continuing effort to offer aid and assistance to the Roanoke-Chowan area victims of Hurricane Isabel, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has announced the opening of a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Windsor.

The Windsor DRC is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. on Saturday at the Bertie County Council on Aging, located at 103 School St. Daily hours of operation are 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

FEMA officials did not announce a closing date for the DRC. However, they did proclaim that the DRC in Jackson, located at the J.W. Faison Administrative Center on NC 305, had extended its operation through today (Thursday). The Jackson DRC was originally scheduled to close on Tuesday of this week.

&uot;It’s a case where we’ll remain operational in a county as long as the need is there for storm victims to come in and request assistance from our organization,&uot; said FEMA spokesman Wayne Goodson.

This past Sunday, FEMA opened another Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), this one in Edenton. The Edenton DRC, located at the old National Guard Armory, will be open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., seven days per week.

Two other DRC’s were scheduled to open Monday in Camden and Hertford.

However, before meeting face to face with FEMA officials, those affected by the storm that want to apply for assistance must first call the FEMA hotline at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired.

Goodson said that even if an individual or a family are under the assumption that they are not qualified to receive FEMA assistance, they should still call.

&uot;Let FEMA make that determination,&uot; he said. &uot;Storm victims may not qualify for one type of aid, but they may for another.&uot;

Many of the DRC’s offer additional assistance from other agencies, including the Small Business Administration, Interfaith community volunteers, workers with the National Flood Insurance Program and others offering health services.

FEMA grants will assist hurricane victims with emergency home repair (for those without homeowners insurance) as well as temporary housing funds for homeowners and/or renters. Those grants do not have to be repaid.

The SBA is offering grants at extremely low interest rates to help area businesses damaged by the storm get back on their feet.

&uot;I urge everyone who suffered structural damage to their homes or businesses to fill out an assistance application with FEMA,&uot; stressed Goodman. &uot;Even if you qualify, you are under no obligation to accept the grant money.&uot;

Anyone throughout the 26-county disaster declared area may visit any DRC for assistance. All four counties here in the Roanoke-Chowan area are on the disaster list.