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FEMA offers free advice

Local residents looking for how to rebuild following the flooding rains from late September can visit with FEMA specialists at Ace Home Center in Ahoskie beginning Wednesday, Nov. 3. Photo by Bruce Ramsey / Tar Heel Studios

Those in need of information about how to rebuild safer and stronger after a flood can find free brochures and in-person advice at a local home improvement store this week.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mitigation specialists are in North Carolina assisting residents who suffered damages as a result of the severe storms and flooding from Tropical Storm Nicole.

Those specialists will staff informational tables at Ace Home Center in Ahoskie from Wednesday, Nov. 3, through Monday, Nov. 8.

According to information provided by FEMA to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, the information sessions at Ace Home Center (1405 East Memorial Drive) will be offered as follows:

8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 3-5 and Monday, Nov. 8;

8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6; and

12 noon until 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7.

Information is available on how to repair or improve your homes to reduce or prevent future disaster damages. Those techniques include reducing mold and mildew, protecting electrical systems, furnaces, and other appliances, reinforcing structures against high winds and flooding, and securing important personal property. Information on flood insurance is also available.

Free reference booklets are available both in English and Spanish. No registration is required and there is no limit on the number of times someone can visit with a specialist or on the number of publications they can have.

Mitigation specialists are also located in Disaster Recovery Centers in Hertford County (Cooperative Extension Center located at 301 West Tyron Street, Winton) and in Bertie County (Office on Aging, West School Street, Windsor).

According to the latest numbers provided Monday morning from FEMA, more than 2,800 individuals in 10 counties (Bertie and Hertford included) declared as federal disaster areas from the damage caused by Tropical Storm Nicole had registered for assistance. To date that has led FEMA to distribute more than $2.8 million in federal disaster grants….$2.2 million for housing assistance and another $600,000 in other needs.

In excess of 2,300 properties have been inspected for damage.

Additional information about this disaster can be found at www.ncem.org and www.fema.gov.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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