What you need to know to apply for assistance from FEMA

Residents who lost their homes and valuables to Hurricane Florence are hoping to get relief right away.

If you have insurance then you should first file a claim with your insurance company, whether that be homeowners, renters or flood insurance. You will not know if you qualify for FEMA assistance unless you apply for aid.

When it comes to FEMA relief, the agency has already approved more than $20 million for those individuals who applied for assistance.

Fayetteville resident Janie Cox is hoping to get funds from FEMA. On Monday, she waited in line at FEMA's Disaster Recovery Center at 1225 Ramsey Street.

Cox said Hurricane Florence flooded the home she rented with her mom and they do not have insurance.

She said she got in line at 9:30 Monday morning and it took her until 1:00 p.m. to file a claim. "It takes a long time to get through. It was worth it some services I didn't know about which will help me out with temporary housing. I'm stressed, but it helped to listen to them," said Cox.


Many residents like Cox showed up looking for temporary housing.

John Mills with FEMA said that right now FEMA is taking claims that involve serious damage to your living situation. "If you're in a dangerous situation and you can't live in your home make that clear when you registered for federal disaster assistance. If you need to relocate, you can't live there because of the dangerous conditions you may be able to get some assistance to live somewhere else temporarily."

You don't have to file a FEMA claim in person; you can also file online. No matter how you apply, inspectors will verify the claim.

"We want to hear from survivors about what those needs are so we can try and help them. It might be from FEMA it might be from another organization such as a charitable organization such as a nonprofit but we are all working together to try and provide assistance to best meet the needs of the community," said Mills.

Right now, FEMA has the center in Fayetteville and another in Jacksonville. Other FEMA centers will be opening soon in other affected areas as well.

Recovery specialists from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the state and other interests are at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance with filing an application.

The centers will be accessible to people with disabilities.

Homeowners, renters, and businesses should register for disaster assistance before visiting a recovery center.

Visit DisasterAssistance.gov

Call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

Use the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices at fema.gov/mobile-app

Text DRC and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). Standard message and data rates apply.
Related Topics:
FEMAhurricanehurricane florencedisaster reliefstorm damageNCCumberland County
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