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RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper’s request for major federal disaster assistance for Greene County has been approved by FEMA to help individuals and communities recover from Hurricane Florence.

With the addition of Greene County, 28 counties have now been approved for federal assistance in recovering from Hurricane Florence: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson. Additional counties are currently undergoing damage assessments and may be added.

FEMA has approved all 28 counties for Individual Assistance, which makes possible rental assistance and Transitional Sheltering Assistance in hotels. It also provides Public Assistance, which allows local governments to be reimbursed for emergency protective measures, debris removal and other costs local governments incurred in responding to the storm. Houses of worship that suffered damage are also eligible to apply for aid under the Public Assistance program.

FEMA’s disaster assistance programs are designed to help with grants for basic repairs to make survivors’ homes safe, sanitary and secure and to provide a temporary place to live while survivors develop their recovery plans.

Anyone with a home damaged by Florence in any county is encouraged to begin the FEMA registration process by calling 1-800-621-FEMA to register via telephone or by visiting disasterassistance.gov to register online. People can also apply at disaster recovery centers opening around the state in hard-hit communities.

As of today, more than 98,000 people have registered for disaster assistance and more than $50 million in federal disaster assistance has been approved for individuals and families. This already exceeds the totals for Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Storm survivors can also apply for temporary help buying food through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). For all counties except Greene, people who want to apply must do so in person from Friday, Sept. 28, through Saturday, Oct. 6, with the exception of Sunday, Sept. 30, when all application sites will be closed. Locations and hours of application sites in each county are available on the DHHS website. People can also dial 2-1-1 for information on application sites in their county.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is working to expand the program to Greene County residents and is awaiting federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Low interest disaster loans from the US Small Business administration are also available to residents in the disaster-declared counties. People who are interested should apply with FEMA. The SBA has opened Business Recovery Centers in Craven, New Hanover, Pitt and Robeson counties.

North Carolinians in these counties can also get temporary jobs working on recovery efforts.To apply for the Hurricane Florence temporary employment program, residents should visit their local NCWorks Career Center, which can be found by visiting ncworks.gov.

Disaster unemployment assistance is also available for North Carolinians unable to work due to Florence through the NC Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security. For more information, people can call 1-866-795-8877 or visit des.nc.gov.