FEMA registration deadline looms

The holiday season is less merry and bright for many of our neighbors in North Carolina this year. Households still are struggling to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Matthew, which caused widespread destruction in 49 counties.

There are many ways that those of us fortunate to have been spared Matthew’s wrath can help. The first step is to check with family and friends whose homes may have been damaged by Hurricane Matthew to make sure they have registered with FEMA.

To learn if they are eligible for programs designed to help disaster survivors recover, applications must be filed by Monday, Jan. 9. Some may not want to register because others have more damage, or because they have insurance. That doesn’t matter. Everyone is eligible to register, and FEMA may be able to help with uninsured losses.

Moreover, the FEMA program that provides temporary shelter in hotels is set to end on Saturday, Jan. 7. NCHousingSearch.org helps people displaced by Hurricane Matthew locate available, affordable rental housing. Call Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., at 877-428-8844. The FEMA Housing Portal (https://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htm) is another resource.

Encourage your friends and loved ones to apply right away. This can be done online at DisasterAssistance.gov, via the FEMA Mobile App, or by calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA).

Additionally, donations may be made through your favorite charity or text your donation to 30306 to aid the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Matthew.

Mike Sprayberry, director

North Carolina Emergency Management

Libby Turner, federal coordinating officer