Windsor DRC remains open

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016

WINDSOR – Those yet to file an application with FEMA for damages in the wake of Hurricane Matthew still have the opportunity to do so face-to-face with federal officials.

One of FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) that opened Oct. 22 at the Bertie County Senior Center in Windsor (103 West School Street) will remain open until further notice.

It was originally reported that the Windsor DRC would close effective Sunday, Oct. 30, but that is not the case.

“The Windsor DRC is not closing after Sunday,” said Nate Custer, a Public Information Officer with FEMA. “This past Sunday (Oct. 30) was the only Sunday it was open. It will continue to operate Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.”

Custer said that at the close of business on Friday (Oct. 28), 255 individuals had visited the Windsor DRC.

“I will not have any updated registration or FEMA dollars approved numbers for the counties in your coverage area until Wednesday (Nov. 2),” Custer told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald upon answering a question posed by this newspaper regarding the dollar amount approved thus far for Bertie County residents. “We release those numbers once a week.”

Residents of FEMA declared counties for Individual Assistance who suffered losses and damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew can receive help applying for federal assistance, learn about the types of assistance available, the appeals process and get updates regarding their applications at any of the DRCs operating six days a week in the impacted counties.

Locally, only Bertie and Gates counties have been declared for Individual Assistance. Hertford County has been approved for Public Assistance, categories A and B.  These are emergency protective measures and debris removal.

It needs to be noted that FEMA’s Public Assistance program does not mean members of the general public. It is for disaster-related costs of local and state governments, certain non-profits and tribal organizations.

Custer said as far as Gates County was concerned, he did not know at this time if a DRC would open there to accept Individual Assistance applications.

“I’m not ruling it out, but in the meantime Gates County residents with damages from the hurricane can get into our system for possible help under the Individual Assistance program by registering with FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or going online at,” he stated.

Custer added that Gates County residents impacted by the storm are welcome to visit the DRC in Bertie.

“Anyone who lives in one of the 35 declared counties in North Carolina can visit any DRC. They are not limited to just a DRC which may be in their home county,” Custer stressed.”

He added, “If Gates County citizens have not registered before going to a DRC they can do the registration at the DRC. But there is no requirement that anyone has to visit a DRC in order to be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for a FEMA grant.”

All DRCs are staffed with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, North Carolina Emergency Management and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

To locate a DRC nearest to you, call 800-621-3362 or download the FEMA mobile app. If you have access to a computer, you can go online to

If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register in one of the following ways:

Online at;

Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. It is the same number if you use 711 or Video Relay Service;

Call 800-462-7585 if you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and you use a TTY; or

Download the FEMA Mobile App and apply.

Survivors requiring a reasonable accommodation such as American Sign Language interpreting, Braille large print, etc. while visiting a disaster recovery center may call the Helpline number for support. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available in ASL at

FEMA financial disaster assistance are grants that do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is non- taxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.

Survivors should register even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims have been settled.

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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