Irene aid deadline extended

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc when it hit North Carolina two months ago and disaster survivors now have more time to get help.

The new deadline to register for state and federal disaster assistance is Nov. 30.

North Carolina Emergency Management asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for an extension based on continued registrations indicating some survivors are still assessing hurricane damage and need more time to apply for assistance. The new deadline also provides more time to return applications for low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.

As of Monday (Oct. 17), over 2,500 residents of the four-county Roanoke-Chowan area had registered for assistance. The dollars amounts approved thus far are:

Bertie County – $486,599.59

Hertford County – $476,213.59

Northampton County – $418,303.74

Gates County – $60,134.68

There are a number of state and federal programs to help those with hurricane-related losses repair their homes, replace damaged property and find a place to live while waiting to move back home.

People in the 38 designated counties – which include Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton – must register with FEMA to get disaster assistance. You can register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) or going online to You can also register with a tablet or smartphone at

Applying for help from the American Red Cross or other volunteer organization is not the same as registering with FEMA.

You should register with FEMA even if you have insurance or if you got help from FEMA after an earlier disaster – the tornadoes in the spring, for example.

FEMA grants may pay rent for a temporary place to live while work is being done on your home.

FEMA disaster assistance may pay for losses not covered by insurance. Most insurance policies, for example, will not pay to repair a hurricane-damaged well or septic system.

Disaster assistance grants do not affect eligibility for Social Security, food stamps or other government assistance programs.