Colerain DRC serves tornado survivors

Published 10:55 am Monday, April 25, 2011

COLERAIN – The Colerain Community Building will serve a dual purpose beginning this week.

Late last week, FEMA opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the community building, located at 106 West Academy Street, Colerain, to serve Bertie County citizens impacted by the April 16 twin tornados.

The DRC will now serve storm victims from Hertford County as well. The majority of those affected in Hertford County reside in an area just north of Colerain.

The DRC will operate daily from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Applicants are encouraged to preregister and be assigned a claim number. Please bring preregistration information with you to the Disaster Recovery Center.

Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

Citizens who are unable to go to a Disaster Recovery Center can apply for assistance online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

According to FEMA officials, disaster recovery can be a lengthy process, but a critical first step is applying for assistance. Take charge of your recovery by registering for disaster assistance, filing insurance claims, cleaning up your property, and keeping all receipts. Staying in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after you register is important too.

FEMA will assign an inspector to assess damages to your home. The inspector will make an appointment to meet with you. At the appointment, you will need to provide a photo ID and verify your name, address, and the FEMA registration number you received when you registered. Inspectors are independent contractors with FEMA identification. Ask to see the inspector’s identification. There is no charge for the inspection.

Call your insurance company and file your insurance claims promptly; document damage as thoroughly as possible, including taking photographs. Don’t forget to provide FEMA with documentation from your insurance company about your claim. FEMA may be able to provide assistance with temporary housing assistance, uninsured personal property losses, and medical, dental and funeral expense caused by the disaster, along with other disaster-related expenses and serious needs. FEMA cannot duplicate money received from insurance or other sources.

Clean up – carefully. There is no need to wait for a visit from the inspectors to clean storm-damaged property. For tips on cleanup, visit Also, local building departments may require permits and further inspections.

Stay in touch. FEMA needs to be able to contact you, so updating your contact information is important if you move or change phone numbers. If you have questions about correspondence from FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or about the status of your application, contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. You can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center and speak to representatives of FEMA, SBA and other agencies between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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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