Three more Irene-hit counties get federal aid

Residents of Bladen, Columbus and Sampson counties can now apply for federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Posted Updated

RALEIGH, N.C. — Residents of three more North Carolina counties can apply for federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Bladen, Columbus and Sampson counties were declared eligible for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Friday, bringing to the total of counties 38 covered by a federal disaster declaration.

"We remain vigilant in pursuing any assistance available to help communities return to normal operation," Gov. Bev Perdue said in a statement. "This will be helpful for families and business owners in those counties as they work to rebuild."

Individuals in those counties can seek low-interest loans and grants from FEMA. The aid could range from a simple referral to temporary housing. FEMA also helps storm victims pay for repair to damaged homes and covers some disaster-related medical expenses and/or personal items (such as clothing) that were destroyed/lost in the storm.

Hurricane Irene swept up the North Carolina coast Aug. 27, leaving homes flooded, roads washed out and fishing businesses damaged along the shorelines of ocean and sound.

Since then, about 30,000 individuals and households have applied for FEMA aid. The agency has distributed more than $39 million in assistance, including $19 million for housing assistance and $16 million in small-business loans.

The deadline to apply for FEMA aid is Oct. 31, and the deadline for disaster unemployment assistance is Nov. 1.

Also eligible for FEMA aid are people with hurricane-related losses in Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson counties. 

How to get aid from FEMA

Apply by phone: Call 800-621-FEMA or TTY at 800-462-7485 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Operators are multilingual. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) call 800-621-3362.
Apply online: By computer, go online to; By smartphone or tablet, use or download FEMA's app for Android phones:

When registering, you will need the following information:

  • Social Security number;
  • Current mailing address;
  • Address of the damaged property;
  • A brief description of the damages; and
  • Any insurance information, including the policy number and the name of your agent.
  • A phone number where you can be reached.

Assistance from FEMA could include:

Temporary housing - money to rent a different place to live;
Repairs - grants to repair some of the disaster-related damage that is not covered by insurance; and

Other needs assistance - grants for necessary and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, vehicle repair or replacement, moving and storage and other expenses that FEMA approves.

Find FEMA offices:
Click on a red cross for FEMA office locations and hours.


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