The recent flooding caused by Hurricane Florence has left thousands of residents displaced or facing major repairs and rebuilding across the Grand Strand. Unfortunately, in the wake of this disaster there has been quite a bit of misinformation spread throughout the affected communities. Our goal is to provide helpful and accurate resources for those who need them.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Homeowners with active coverage through the NFIP should begin with opening a claim through their existing flood insurance policy as this will likely be the fastest and most efficient resource available for homes with flood damage. Homeowners with a NFIP policy can open a claim or ask questions about the claim process by calling
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Assistance from FEMA can vary significantly depending on the amount of damage, the location of the home and other circumstances. A number of people are receiving denials despite meeting appropriate criteria and having documented damage. According to FEMA, their representatives are attempting to review homes and claims as quickly as possible and also prioritize claims for what they deem the worst cases. If you feel you have unjustly received a denial for assistance from FEMA, you can file an appeal but it is important to do so immediately as there is a time limit for filing an appeal. Note: FEMA assistance is only available to homeowners in an officially declared disaster area.
FEMA's Hurricane Florence information website is https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-florence
To file a claim requesting FEMA assistance, check status of your claim or ask questions, you can visit their assistance website at https://www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
A few potential forms of assistance you might qualify for through FEMA include:
- Temporary Rental Assistance - Help covering the cost of a temporary rental while repairs are made to the primary residence. The primary residence must be unlivable until repairs are made to qualify.
- Home Repair Assistance - Help with the expense of repairing an owner-occupied primary residence, damage to utilities to the home, and damages that prevent access to the property (roads, driveways, bridges).
- Home Replacement Assistance - Help for uninsured or under-insured homeowners whose primary residence was entirely destroyed by the disaster.
Small Business Association (SBA)
The SBA's Disaster Loan Assistance program provides low-interest, long-term loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations to help with repair or replacement of personal property, real estate, machinery and equipment, business inventory and business assets. Only those located in a SBA declared disaster area are eligible for this assistance. For more information about applying for a Disaster Loan through the SBA, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
Waccamaw Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)
The Waccamaw VOAD is coordinating efforts of a number of local non-profits and local chapters of national non-profits to assist those impacted by the floods, including assistance efforts to help clean up and "mud-out" homes. For more information or to request assistance, visit https://www.disasterhelp.me
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
The DUA is a temporary unemployment fund for people who lost employment due to the disaster, as well as small business owners and self-employed independent contractors who suffered a documented loss of income due to the disaster. Approved claims will be paid out through the existing South Carolina unemployment insurance benefit system. More information about DUA is available at https://dew.sc.gov/dua
The Salvation Army of Horry County
The Salvation Army will be providing meals and home clean-up kits to those impacted by the floods. For more information and updates on assistance through the Salvation Army, visit https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is partnering with a number of local organizations and initiatives to provide several different types of assistance to flood victims. More information is available on website for the local chapter of the American Red Cross at https://www.redcross.org/local/south-carolina.html
If you have been impacted by the recent flooding caused by Hurricane Florence, we hope this list of resources gives you a head-start on the process of recovering and rebuilding. There are a number of local churches, businesses, schools and organizations collecting donations of goods and money on behalf of the programs listed above. If you have not been affected by the recent storm and flooding, please consider donating or volunteering to assist those in need. Together, we are #CarolinaStrong!