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More about FEMA

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Whether you were directly or indirectly impacted by the recent storm, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the information you’ve received and how rapidly it’s updated or modified. So for now…I’m going to share info with you that is most specific to our individual and collective recovery efforts.

Take a look at Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about FEMA and an Applicant’s Guide. These links will provide an overview of the FEMA application process and walk you through the essentials.

If you would like to attend a public information briefing about FEMA, please consider the following:

Disaster Assistance Forum
Wednesday, October 14, 2015, at 5:30 p.m.
Columbia Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), SC Department of Insurance, Small Business Administration (SBA), SC Department of Employment & Workforce (SC DEW) and SC Emergency Management Division (SC EMD) will update you about available assistance and answer any storm recovery questions you have.

Beware of Potential Scams
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Affairs are cautioning us about scam artists who may be in the area knocking on doors and claiming to be government workers with FEMA.  Scammers travel to disaster areas and prey upon unsuspecting home or business owners who have been impacted by the storm. If you’ve already been contacted by someone who claims to be acting on FEMA’s behalf or on behalf of a governmental entity or insurance company, please contact your insurance agent, FEMA, the BBB or SC Consumer Affairs first, to be sure that the agent or agency is legitimate.

Types of Assistance

Under FEMA, you may qualify for:

  • Public Assistance – Cost-share assistance to state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations for emergency work (Examples:  Debris Removal, Roads and Bridges, Emergency Protective Measures; etc.); See FEMA Fact Sheet.
  • Individual Assistance – Assistance to qualifying individuals for temporary housing or for repairs when a homeowner may not have insurance See FEMA Fact Sheet.
  • Hazard Mitigation Assistance – Cost-share assistance to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.
  • Business Assistance – Assistance to qualifying businesses through    the Small Business Administration (; for those who are deaf or hard of hearing; or online at www.sba.gov).

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Yesterday, the Minority Business Center announced that it has opened its Columbia, SC office to minority business owners who need assistance to process FEMA Individual Assistance and SBA Disaster Loan applications. Minority business owners are encouraged to contact the Center’s hotline at to get started.
The MBDA Business Center is located at 400 Percival Road, Columbia, SC 29206. Computers, high- speed internet, fax machines, telephones and office supplies are available. To take advantage of this service, minority business owners should call the Center’s hotline to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also accepted from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For business owners who cannot travel to the office, Center staff is available by telephone.

Donations:
Individuals, businesses, and nonprofits who still want to make monetary donations should do so through the following organizations, all of which have been or will be assisting our State during this recovery effort:  http://www.scemd.org/recovery-section/donations-and-volunteers

Help is only a click or phone call away.  If you need assistance with FEMA, please visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call .  Lines are open from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.

I hope this information is helpful to you as we work together to recover from this storm and rebuild a better, stronger city, county and state. And while we do, let’s continue to encourage, pray for and help one another.

We truly are One Columbia…

#FamouslyStrong  #RemarkablyResilient