Category: FEMA

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is encouraging those affected by Hurricane Florence from Sept. 8 through Oct. 8, 2018 in North Carolina to submit their completed applications, even if they have not settled with their insurance company.

“Waiting to file an SBA application could cause unnecessary delays in receiving disaster assistance, and survivors may miss the application deadline. Returning the loan application is an essential part of the disaster recovery process,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.

Physical disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, including contents and automobiles. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes having difficulties meeting operating expenses because of the disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for non-profit organizations and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to a center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. For more information about SBA recovery assistance, visit www.sba.gov.

The SBA has extended the deadline to apply for physical disaster damages in North Carolina. Businesses and individuals with physical damages caused by Hurricane Florence on Sept. 7 – 29, 2018, should apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans before the Dec. 13, 2018 deadline.

Posted in FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline to apply for physical disaster damages in North Carolina. Businesses and individuals with physical damages caused by Hurricane Florence on Sept. 7 – 29, 2018, should apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans before the Dec. 13,

The disaster declaration covers the North Carolina counties of Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Union, Wayne and Wilson; for economic injury only in the contiguous North Carolina counties of Alamance, Cabarrus, Caswell, Dare, Davidson, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Martin, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Nash, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stanly, Stokes, Tyrrell, Wake and Washington; and the contiguous South Carolina counties of Chesterfield, Dillon, Horry, Lancaster and Marlboro.

SBA disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to cover uninsured losses from the disaster. Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 2.0 percent for homeowners and renters. Loan terms can be up to 30 years.

Economic injury disaster loans are also available to provide disaster related working capital to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 13, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 14, 2019.

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Posted in Craven County, Economy and Employment, FEMA, Housing, Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Survivors of Hurricane Florence who apply for disaster assistance from FEMA may be contacted by the U.S. Small Business Administration with information on how to apply for a disaster loan.

SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. Next to insurance, SBA low-interest disaster loans are the primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and replacing contents destroyed during Hurricane Florence.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.

There’s no obligation to accept a disaster loan, but survivors may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if they don’t submit an application.

These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other resources. Survivors should not wait for an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. They may discover they were underinsured for the labor and materials required to repair or replace their home. An SBA low-interest disaster loan can cover the gap.

If survivors have not settled with their insurance agency, SBA can make them a loan for the full amount of their losses. They can then use their insurance proceeds to reduce or pay off the SBA loan.

By law, both FEMA and SBA cannot duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

If applicants don’t qualify for a loan, SBA will refer them back to FEMA and they could be considered for other FEMA grants under Other Needs Assistance.

Examples of Other Needs Assistance that do not depend on completing the SBA application include:

  • Disaster-related medical and dental expenses.
  • Disaster-related funeral and burial expenses.
  • Increased cost of child-care expenses.
  • Miscellaneous items, such as smoke detectors and weather radios.
  • Other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other sources.

Some types of ONA that do require an SBA loan application include:

  • Personal property replacement.
  • Moving and storage fees.
  • Financial help with disaster-caused vehicle repair or replacement expenses.

In planning their recovery, survivors should give themselves the widest possible set of options. Submitting the application makes it possible to be considered for additional grants, and if they qualify for a loan they will have that resource available if they choose to use it.

Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans, application forms, and where to get help with an application are available online at SBA.gov/disaster. Survivors may also call 800-659- 2955 or 800-877-8339 (TTY) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Applicants may Apply Online for Disaster Loan Assistance, or at any disaster recovery center.

The centers serve as one-stop shops for survivors who need one-on-one help. Survivors can visit any center for assistance. To find center locations and current hours, download the FEMA mobile app in English, the FEMA mobile app in Spanish, the ReadyNC app, or visit FEMA.gov/DRC. SBA has staff at all centers to provide one-on-one assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.

You can watch an online video in American Sign Language that explains the Reasons to Apply for an SBA Loan.

For more information on North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence, visit ncdps.gov/Florence and FEMA.gov/Disaster/4393. Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.

Posted in FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

October 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Despite earlier obstacles, a storm-stricken New Bern Housing Authority appears headed toward buying acreage off of Carolina Avenue to build apartments that would replace flood-prone tenements at Trent Court.

City Manager Mark Stephens and his staff are preparing paperwork to sell 8 acres between the Pembroke community and Trent Road, and U.S. 70 and Carolina Avenue. A decision is expected at the next Board of Aldermen meeting later this month.

Kathy Adolph

During the public comments portion of the meeting, New Bern resident Kathy Adolph, a retired teacher and school principal, urged the city to give the Housing Authority the parcel, saying that Trent Court is substandard and prone to frequent flooding.

The Housing Authority, which is independent of the city, wants to build an 80-unit apartment complex off Carolina Avenue that would house some Trent Court residents. That would empty out 80 units in Trent Court that would be razed and replaced.

The Housing Authority had offered $200,000 for the 8-acre parcel. Aldermen voted 6-1 in July to have the parcel appraised.

The Carolina Avenue property sought for purchase by the New Bern Housing Authority is shown boxed in yellow. The Pembroke Community is above and to the right of the lake shown in this aerial view.

The motion was made by Ward 6 Alderman Jeffrey Odham and seconded by Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Aster. What’s interesting was that it was a break from tradition. Motions are usually made by the alderman in whose ward a project is located.

But Ward 2 Alderwoman Jameesha Harris, whose ward includes the Pembroke community, has opposed the plan.

A lot has happened while the appraisal wound its way through city bureaucracy, namely Hurricane Florence.

Housing Authority Executive Director Martin Blaney gave a bleak report about Trent Court during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

Blaney said Trent Court lost 108 out of 218 apartments due to the storm. He said five or six of the most severely damaged buildings should not be reopened. The storm also destroyed the New Bern Housing Authority administration building on South Front Street.

Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Chairman Joseph Anderson, left, and Executive Director Martin Blaney update the New Bern Board of Aldermen about Trent Court flooding. Photo by Randy Foster / New Bern Post

New Bern Towers, located near Trent Court and also owned by the Housing Authority, weathered the hurricane fairly well and will not be replaced.

In order to qualify for competitive funding to help pay for the apartment complex, the Housing Authority has to beat a January deadline to have a fully fleshed-out plan in place.

The ultimate plan is to remove most or all of the old Trent Court tenements and replace them with a combination of green space and mixed-income housing that is less susceptible to flood damage. That housing would be managed by a third party, much like Craven Terrace has been operating for a couple of years.

Most residents of the flood-damaged Trent Court apartment buildings have found temporary housing or have moved to Housing Authority facilities in nearby counties, Blaney said. A couple of Trent Court families are staying at the emergency shelter at West New Bern Recreation Center, while a handful have moved back into Trent Court, despite warnings that doing so puts their health at risk.

Meanwhile, in an effort to address housing shortages in flood-stricken communities like New Bern, FEMA has announced plans to roll out temporary housing for those most in need.

 

 

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, FEMA, Housing, Mayor, New Bern Housing Authority

October 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Approved counties: Currently nine North Carolina counties are approved for Direct Housing: Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Jones, Onslow, Pender and Robeson.

FEMA understands that rental resources and housing are limited in some areas. FEMA is working closely with the State of North Carolina to implement a targeted strategy to provide other forms of temporary housing to best meet the needs of displaced survivors.

FEMA has been participating in the state-led housing task force since Hurricane Florence first made landfall in North Carolina.

The state and FEMA are implementing a multi-pronged approach to temporarily house displaced survivors. Solutions are tailored to the individual needs and situations of survivors based on how quickly their homes can be repaired to a safe, sanitary, secure condition and the availability of housing options in their communities.

Based upon the needs identified by the State of North Carolina, FEMA is providing two forms of Direct Temporary Housing Assistance. The following Transportable Temporary Housing Units are available:

  • Recreation Vehicles (RVs) provide a timely, effective interim solution for most households with a high degree of confidence that repairs can be completed in less than a year, ideally within six months.
  • Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) provide a longer-term solution for survivors whose repairs will take longer to complete due to higher degree of damage.

FEMA contacts households who potentially qualify for an RV or MHU through the Pre-Placement Interview process to determine whether they need Direct Housing and, if so, what type of housing they require based on the size and needs of the household, including any people with disabilities or other access or functional needs.

FEMA will identify households that may be able to have an RV or MHU placed on their property or in a commercial park.

Direct housing solutions FEMA implements are temporary in nature and are not permanent dwellings.

During a housing mission, federal contractors are managed and monitored by FEMA inspectors. Contractors must adhere to all applicable laws, codes and requirements.

Continuous coordination among FEMA, the state, counties and municipalities regarding the installation of transportable temporary housing units is a vital part of this mission.

The state and FEMA are coordinating with municipalities and counties regarding the requirements of local ordinances, zoning, transportation requirements, occupancy inspections, setbacks and more.

The state and FEMA are also coordinating the temporary housing effort with floodplain managers, environmental regulators, historic preservation officers, utility providers and other authorities identified by the state or municipalities.

The State of North Carolina and FEMA will be implementing additional programs in the coming days and weeks.

Survivors displaced from their homes due to Hurricane Florence must first apply for disaster assistance to be considered for FEMA programs such as Transitional Sheltering Assistance, financial rental assistance, grants for repairs to make their homes safe, sanitary and secure, and other forms of assistance.

Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621- 3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). In-person American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are available by request by calling or texting 202-655-8824. (If possible, please allow 24 hours to schedule an interpreter).

Posted in FEMA, Housing, Hurricane, Infrastructure, New Bern

October 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Gov. Roy Cooper directed $25 million from the North Carolina Education Lottery Fund on Tuesday to speed repairs to K-12 public schools damaged by Hurricane Florence.

“Students need to get back to learning and educators need to get back to teaching, but many school districts can’t afford the repairs schools need,” Cooper said. “The lives of thousands of students, teachers and families are on hold and they need our help to recover.”

While many schools have reopened since Hurricane Florence struck last month, seven North Carolina school systems remain closed, keeping more than 130 schools out of operation and nearly 90,000 students out of class.

Just four of Craven County’s 23 public schools were open for class on Monday. Three schools in Jones County will have to be entirely rebuilt.

Several affected school districts have depleted most of their contingency funds and need immediate financial assistance to repair roofs, flooring and electrical wiring, eradicate mold and mildew and replace furniture to get schools reopened.

The emergency funds will be administered by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Priority will be given to district and charter schools in Brunswick, Craven, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson counties that have immediate repair needs and are not currently in operation.

Some of the repairs should be reimbursable by federal disaster recovery funds. Transferring the money now gives schools quicker help and allows them to retain contractors to speed repairs.

Posted in Craven County Schools, Education, FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern, Politics, State news, State politics

October 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Tune in to Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, when officials with the New Bern Housing Authority will give an update about the status of Trent Court.

Trent Court was hit hard by Hurricane Florence. Alderwoman Jameesha Harris and several other volunteers braved rising floodwaters to evacuate residents who had sheltered in their homes during the storm.

Several feet of water flooded the rows of apartments closest to Lawson Creek, and recovery has been a question, especially considering what has been said in the past about Trent Court’s future.

The Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) plan calls for Trent Court to be razed and replaced with mixed-income housing and green space.

The New Bern Housing Authority has been shopping for acreage to build a new apartment building that would be used to house displaced Trent Court residents during the transition, and Housing Authority officials said the displaced residents would have the opportunity to move back once newly constructed units become available in the future development formerly known as Trent Court.

However, the Housing Authority has been having difficulty finding suitable land for an offsite apartment complex. One location off Carolina Avenue (which is between Trent Road and the Pembroke community) is attractive — located close to shopping and services and is owned by the city — but Alderwoman Harris has raised objections from Pembroke residents who don’t want Trent Court residents to move into their back yard.

Meanwhile, many Trent Court residents don’t want to leave Trent Court.

Next up, however, is Hurricane Florence. Housing Authority officials have said for several years that no more money would be spent to renovate flood-damaged buildings at Trent Court. If that’s the same story now, the race is on to find affected Trent Court residents places to live so that the storm-damaged apartments can be torn down.

Housing Authority Executive Director Martin Blaney did not answer a request to be interviewed by the Post. Granted, he has had a lot on his plate.

Steve Strickland, a member of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, said, “The exact outcome is still to be determined. We’re working every possible option right now, alongside our efforts to get the current places as habitable as possible as soon as possible for those with no other short-term options.”

When asked if the storm was an opportunity to kickstart the CNI plan by housing South Front Street / Walt Bellamy Drive residents elsewhere so that the buildings most damaged can be razed and replaced, Strickland replied, “Possibly.”

 

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, FEMA, Housing, Hurricane, Mayor, New Bern Housing Authority

October 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

George Alsberg, age 103, of Wilmington, was one of the oldest voluntary evacuees of Hurricane Florence. Photo credit: Taylor Knopf

NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS | 

That’s the takeaway from a state-compiled list of the adults who died as a result of the catastrophic storm. It shows that two out of three North Carolinians who died during or as a result of Florence were 60 or older, and nearly half were 70 or older. The median age of adults who died during or as a result of the storm was 67, while the statewide median age is 38.3.

“Vulnerable adults are more likely to be impacted because of their social isolation, or not having the supports they needed in areas like transportation,” said Heather Burkhardt, program coordinator at Resources for Seniors in Raleigh.

The list of deaths tied to the catastrophic September storm grew to 39 on Oct. 1, when Gov. Roy Cooper announced two deaths, one of a Pender County man, 69, who fell off a roof Sept. 22 while repairing storm damage. A list supplied by the Department of Public Safety showed that people older than 65 represented:

  • Six of 11 people who drowned in motor vehicle accidents,
  • Five of six people who died of medical causes such as cardiopulmonary distress or COPD
  • Three of five who died doing cleanup and
  • A couple, 86, who died in a fire caused by the use of candles while power was out.

Three of the victims were infants and two others did not have listed ages. Of the 34 adult deaths with ages attached, 21 were older than 65.

Perhaps the most poignant death was that of a man, 82, who committed suicide in Carteret County after Florence devastated his home. “Shot self when house condemned,” read the terse DPS account of the death.

More

 

 

Posted in Community issues, Economy, Economy and Employment, Environment, FEMA, Health, Hurricane, State news, State politics

October 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

LONGLEAF POLITICS | Hurricane Matthew struck eastern North Carolina on Oct. 9, 2016.

A full 18 months later, some of the first federally funded repairs are slated to begin this June.

Hurricane Matthew has re-emerged as a political issue in Raleigh as thousands of people in eastern North Carolina await public money to rebuild.

The storm was one of the most devastating in North Carolina’s history, killing 31 people and caused more than $4.8 billion in damage. Matthew set rainfall records in 17 counties, and 2,300 people were rescued from floodwaters.

Why is recovery taking so long?

It mostly has to do with the processes set up to distribute the roughly $1.7 billion in recovery aid expected from the federal and state government.

While the initial response from the N.C. National Guard and FEMA came quickly, North Carolina has been in no hurry to distribute money intended for longer-term recovery.

And as it turns out, there’s a huge difference between money that’s been approved — and money that’s actually been used.

The breakdown of funding sources is an alphabet soup of agencies, each with its own policies and mechanisms and hoops to jump through. State governments have incentives to get roads repaired quickly. Homes, not so much.

Here’s a quick explanation of how disaster recovery works. It’s ordered by how quickly money has been distributed.

More

Posted in Economy, Economy and Employment, Environment, FEMA, Health, Housing, Hurricane, Infrastructure, Longleaf Politics, State news, State politics, Weather

September 28th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

For residents who suffered losses during Hurricane Florence, Disaster Recovery Centers are now open in several locations around the state, with information and resources to assist in recovery.

These centers offer in-person support to both individuals and businesses. Specialists can discuss available recovery programs and provide guidance for filing applications for disaster assistance.

All centers are fully accessible to people with disabilities, and for those who need translation assistance.

Whether you are a homeowner, renter or a business owner, it is important to register for disaster assistance prior to visiting a recovery center by going online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling FEMA at 800-621-FEMA.

If your home is insured, file your insurance claim before visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. Be sure to take photos to document your damage.

When you arrive at the recovery center, please bring the following information with you:

  • Address for home or business that was damaged
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number.
  • Insurance information.
  • Total household annual income.
  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account to allow for direct transfer of funds into your bank account.
  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.
  • Centers are open in these locations:
  • Craven County

    Former Eckerd/Rite Aid Drugstore

    710 Degraffenreid Ave.

    New Bern

    Onslow County

    312 Western Blvd

    Jacksonville

    Pamlico County

    Grantsboro Town Hall

    10628 NC Highway 55 East

    Grantsboro

    Jones County

    County Civic Center

    794 Highway 58 South

    Trenton

    Beaufort County

    Bobby Andrews Center

    231 East Seventh Street

    Washington

    Additional Disaster Recovery Centers will be opening in the coming days and weeks.

    Posted in Craven County, FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern

    %d bloggers like this: