Hurricane Florence Resources

Hurricane Florence Resources

As our counties begin the challenging process of recovering from Hurricane Florence, we want you to know your Association is here for you. We recognize the impact of the storm is widespread, and understand it will take some time to realize the full scope of what is needed to recover.  As always, we thank you for your service to North Carolina counties, especially during trying times like these. Please email us at communications@ncacc.org with questions and requests we may be able to facilitate addressing.

Federal Disaster Declared

At this time, President Donald Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration for North Carolina (DR-4393), making certain federal assistance available, including public assistance for emergency protective measures and debris removal in several affected counties.  That number may change as the State continues to apply for federal assistance and it is approved by the White House.  Damage assessments are being conducted in impacted areas and as they are completed, assistance may be expanded depending on unmet needs. 

Disaster Recovery Guidance and Documents

The UNC School of Government hosts an emergency management web page, which links to various documents that provide guidance on disaster recovery activities such as debris removal, contract procurement compliance, state and Federal environmental and historic preservation requirements, and much more.  For updates, guidance, and vital compliance information, please refer to this site: https://www.sog.unc.edu/resources/microsites/nc-emergency-management/hurricane-florence-information

FEMA Accepting Applications for Disaster Assistance

Homeowners and renters in the affected areas may apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Florence through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP).

Survivors may register with FEMA after filing an insurance claim. If you have internet access, the best way to register is online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or on the FEMA Mobile App.

Survivors can call 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People with impaired hearing or a speech disability requiring the use of a TTY may call 800-462-7585.

Victims Assistance Centers to Address Insurance Questions

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced the establishment of Victim Assistance Centers (VAC) in coordination with FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. VACs will be set up to help storm victims with their insurance questions, needs and concerns.  The first VAC centers will be held Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Smithfield, N.C.

Johnson County Industries

912 N. Brightleaf Blvd.,

Smithfield, N.C. 27577

  • Goldsboro, N.C.

W.A. Foster Recreation Center

1012 S. John St.

Goldsboro, N.C. 27530

More locations will be announced as soon as the storm water recedes and it is safe to do so.  These locations can be found on the NCDOI website at www.ncdoi.com.

Building Inspectors Association Establishes DCERT Response Team 

As the storm departs the different communities in North Carolina the need for assistance will be great.  The Building Inspectors association in collaboration with the Office of State Fire Marshal has set up a response team to assist communities with the abnormal inspection load post disaster.  The DCERT team is a group inspectors dedicated to providing emergency assistance following a disaster striking your community.  To make use of this resource, contact your local Emergency Management representative and request assistance from the DCERT team.  For additional information go to the following link: http://ncbia.org/ncbia2016_013.htm

If you are already a member contact the representative over your area:

Agricultural Emergencies

NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services established a toll-free hotline for agricultural emergencies: 1-866-645-9403. Farmers can also find recovery resources on the Department’s website: www.ncagr.gov/disaster

Food and Nutrition Services Program

The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced two new flexibilities for people and families in the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. These temporary flexibilities will apply to all 100 counties and the more than 600,000 households enrolled in the FNS program.  For more information, please visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/north-carolinians-enrolled-food-and-nutrition-services-program-can-use-benefits

Disaster-Related Contract Guidance

As counties bid disaster-related work, keep in mind that ALL contracts (purchase, service, construction, repair, architect and engineer services, etc.) in the amount of $10,000 or more must satisfy federal Uniform Guidance (Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprises) outreach requirements. An easy way to satisfy this requirement is to post your bid solicitation on the NC Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) office website at the link below:

https://ncadmin.nc.gov/businesses/historically-underutilized-businesses-hub/submit-contractor-bid-opportunity-hub

If you have any questions about the HUB website, please contact John Guenther with the NC HUB office at john.guenther@doa.nc.gov .

Helpful Links and Information Before, During and After Disaster Strikes

NACo Resources

NCACC Survey on Unmet Disaster Recovery Needs

NCACC is seeking information from counties on unmet disaster recovery needs through a survey linked here. The information will help NCACC advocate on behalf of counties at the legislature and fulfill a request from Office of State Budget and Management as the state continues to assess damages to county facilities, lost revenue, and any other items that counties plan to report as a loss due to Hurricane Florence. We appreciate any information you can provide in the survey.

Peer Advice from Veteran County Managers

NCACC recently held a call to hear from veteran NC county managers on disaster recovery lessons they’ve learned over the years and tips to help you navigate next steps. A summary of the information shared is attached and the call audio is available at this link: https://ncacc.sharefile.com/d-sc661884cf9b4b6d8. Many thanks to Bobby Outten, Dare County Manager, Scott Sauer, Bertie County Manager and Tracy Jackson, Cumberland County Assistant Manager for taking time out to share their thoughts.

Debris Removal Resources

It is important for counties to refer to the disaster specific guidance for Hurricane Florence for debris removal activities to be eligible for FEMA reimbursement. Don’t assume that what you did for Hurricane Matthew will apply for Hurricane Florence.  See the Hurricane Florence quick guide for a primer on debris removal operations and points of contact, who can answer questions about debris removal and FEMA public assistance. 

FEMA partnered with NC Emergency Management to offer a webinar on debris removal guidance for Hurricane Florence.  The webinar discussed how to properly document and monitor debris removal activities, debris removal operations on private property, the approval process for debris staging sites, procurement policy, USDA/NRCS Emergency Watershed Program, and more.  Slides and audio from the webinar along with related materials are available on the UNC School of Government website here.  The webinar also included many helpful tips for counties to keep in mind during debris removal operations including:

  • FEMA does not reimburse for lost revenue if a county decides to waive tipping fees for debris disposal.
  • Counties must ensure that they do not contract with a company that has been debarred.  The System for Award Management or www.sam.gov lists debarred contractors.  Click here for instructions on how to search an individual or entity in SAM.

Stop the Rumor Mill

When disasters strike, it is not uncommon for misinformation to spread.  To help address this issue and ensure those impacted by the storm have access to factual information, FEMA established a rumor control page for Hurricane Florence.  Visit the following page to debunk the latest myths: https://www.fema.gov/florence-rumors and please let us know of any rumors that need to be addressed.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loans

Low interest disaster loans from the US Small Business administration are available to residents and businesses in the disaster-declared counties. People who are interested can apply with FEMA. The SBA has also opened Business Recovery Centers in Craven, New Hanover, Pitt and Robeson counties.

For SBA information, you can visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurricane-florence . Please note that there are certain FEMA grants that require applicants to fill out a SBA application in order to be eligible.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Temporary Work

Disaster unemployment assistance is available for North Carolinians unable to work due to Florence through the NC Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security. For more information call 1-866-795-8877 or visit des.nc.gov. To apply for the Hurricane Florence temporary employment program, residents should visit their local NCWorks Career Center, which can be found by visiting ncworks.gov.

Beware of Scams

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey warned about potential scams that target Hurricane Florence survivors and offered tips, posted here, to avoid being taken advantage of by dishonest contractors and scam artists.

Mosquito Abatement Information

Flooding caused by Hurricane Florence has brought increased mosquito populations to some areas in North Carolina.  Governor Roy Cooper directed $4 million to help impacted areas fund mosquito control efforts.  For more information on mosquito abatement and related points of contact, click here to view the quick guide, developed by the UNC School of Government.

Donations and Volunteers Needed

The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is available for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit governor.nc.gov or text FLORENCE to 20222

Volunteer opportunities are available through VolunteerNC.org to help survivors of Hurricane Florence immediately and throughout the recovery process.

Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Employment Program

North Carolina received a federal grant to provide temporary employment to address damage and other needs resulting from Hurricane Florence. Impacted counties and other public entities are eligible to participate as an employer worksite at no cost to the county. The grant pays for temporary employees (including worker’s compensation coverage) to perform either labor and clean-up or humanitarian assistance related to Hurricane Florence recovery. Read more...