Georgetown has become the sixth South Carolina county where homeowners and renters with uninsured or underinsured losses caused by Hurricane Florence can apply for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Chesterfield, Dillon, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties were previously designated for FEMA Individual Assistance. More counties could be added later if officials determine they meet the disaster threshold.
At a press briefing at the state Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said his agency is ready to start in South Carolina after Hurricane Florence.
“We have a lot of FEMA staff in the field working hand-in-glove with our state partners ready to push forward case management, set up disaster recovery centers so people can go in and understand what they may or may not be entitled to when it comes to help,” he told reporters.
South Carolinians who lost property to storm damage in those six counties are eligible to receive assistance if they are uninsured or their current insurance does not cover their losses. The grants can cover home repairs or reimburse recipients for the costs of temporary stays in a new location.
Hurricane Florence survivors in the designated counties will need the following to apply for assistance:
- Social Security Number;
- Daytime telephone number;
- Current mailing address and address and ZIP Code of the damaged property; and
- Insurance information, if available.
To check eligibility for federal, state and voluntary agency disaster assistance survivors can visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7785 TTY). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
After registering with FEMA, a survivor may be contacted by a FEMA-contracted housing inspector to schedule an inspection to verify disaster-related damage. The inspection generally takes about 20-40 minutes. The inspector will want to see the damaged areas of the home and any damaged furniture and personal property. There is no fee for the inspection.
If the home was found to be inaccessible at the time of inspection, the applicant is required to let FEMA know when the home is accessible and request a new inspection. To update the status of an uninhabitable dwelling applicants should call the disaster assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362. Once the status of the home is updated and the survivor has requested a new inspection, a FEMA-contracted inspector will contact the applicant to schedule the inspection.
On the day of the inspection, applicants should ask the inspector to show a FEMA photo ID badge. If an inspector refuses to show FEMA photo identification, do not allow the inspection. Disasters often bring out scam artists who prey on the needs of disaster survivors.