Posted by: Michael Bolch, Federal Coordinating Officer
Snow Hill, NC, April 25, 2011 -- Properties in Greene County, N.C., await cleanup and recovery following the deadly tornadoes and severe storms that swept through the state April 16, 2011.
It’s hard to believe it has been one month since a series of deadly tornadoes and storms ripped through several North Carolina communities, taking the lives of 24 residents and causing millions of dollars in property damages. I wanted to give a personal update on the ongoing recovery efforts in North Carolina and provide a few examples of how FEMA continues to work with all members of the emergency management team to assist survivors and affected communities.
To date, Federal and state disaster assistance grants and loans add up to nearly $10 million, a testament to cutting through red tape and getting assistance to affected individuals and communities. Yesterday, we held a press conference with the state of North Carolina and the Small Business Administration to provide an update of the ongoing recovery efforts:
Four days after the storms struck, jointly, federal and state partners sent community relations specialists out into neighborhoods to help people understand what help may be available to them. These specialists continue to go door-to-door, providing information in English and Spanish to people affected by the tornadoes. To date, the community relations teams have visited almost 12,558 homes and talked to over 13,100 people. They have also provided information to over 2,200 businesses, over 240 community organizations and over 900 faith-based organizations.
Raleigh, NC, April 24, 2011 -- Miriam Stack, FEMA community relations specialist, works with Raleigh residents to answer questions during a neighborhood outreach following the severe April 16 storms and deadly tornadoes that damaged or destroyed homes and businesses across North Carolina.
Days after the disaster declaration, FEMA and the North Carolina Emergency Management Office opened a joint field office and 16 disaster recovery centers. So far, more than 3,900 residents have visited a disaster recovery center to apply for assistance and learn about the other programs available to them.
Since the storms struck, we have also been working alongside the many voluntary, faith- and community-based groups that work to get disaster survivors back on their feet as quickly as possible. Here are a few photos that show this work in action:
Raleigh, NC, May 12, 2011 -- The Salvation Army staff partner with the Green Chair Project to help disaster survivors in North Carolina re-furnish their homes. The Green Chair Project makes donated home furnishings available at a low cost to individuals and families identified and referred to Green Chair by its partner agencies. FEMA is responding to severe April 16 storms and deadly tornadoes that damaged or destroyed homes and businesses across North Carolina on.
Raleigh, NC, April 24, 2011 -- Maureen Ivey, FEMA community relations specialist, confers with the Red Cross about the recovery efforts in Wake County, N.C., following the severe April 16 storms and deadly tornadoes that damaged or destroyed homes and businesses across North Carolina.
As I said in our news conference yesterday, we are encouraging those who suffered losses in eligible counties to apply for FEMA assistance as soon as possible. The deadline for FEMA registration and U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan applications is June 20. We will continue to get the word out about registering for assistance, and we hope you will do the same if you know someone who may have been affected by this disaster.
For the latest on the North Carolina disaster recovery, visit the disaster page.