Irene aid tops $1.75 million

Published 11:11 am Friday, November 4, 2011

Federal and state aid to local residents is growing in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

According to the most recent release of numbers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), individual aid to Roanoke-Chowan area residents is listed at $1,751,290. That represents roughly $320,000 more than FEMA’s last report (as published in the Oct. 18 edition of this newspaper).

Additionally, the number of applications for individual aid received by FEMA from the four local counties now stands at 2,744 (272 more than Oct. 18).

The local county-by-county breakdown (shown with number of applications and dollar amount) is as follows:

Bertie – 722; $637,602

Gates – 149; $65,996

Hertford – 762; $592,468

Northampton – 1,111; $455,224

FEMA officials remind individuals who have yet to file for assistance that the deadline is Nov. 30. No matter the degree of loss or insurance coverage, survivors are urged to apply for help. They can use any of the following methods:

By phone, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Assistance is available in most languages. People who have a speech disability or are deaf or hard of hearing may call (TTY) 800-462-7585.

Online at

Go to with a tablet or smartphone.

Businesses that need help may contact the Small Business Administration directly at the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or by sending an email to or

Applying for help from the American Red Cross or other volunteer organizations 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.

Additionally, North Carolina survivors of Hurricane Irene with questions about flood insurance claims can now find help by calling a new toll-free hotline.

The Hurricane Irene Flood Insurance Claims Hotline is open to help North Carolina residents in the 38 counties included in the presidential disaster declaration following Hurricane Irene. The hotline number is 855-336-2002.

The hotline is staffed by flood insurance claims specialists from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Nov. 23.

Staffers will be able to answer questions about the flood insurance claim process, such as how to work with a flood insurance adjuster or how to check on the status of a settlement. Staffers can also offer guidance on the steps necessary to settle a claim.

When flood insurance policy holders call, they should have on hand the following information: name of insurance company, flood insurance policy number, name and telephone number of the insurance agent, and name and telephone number of the insurance adjuster.

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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