Contact: Chris Mackey
Date: April 26, 2011
Phone: (919) 733-5612

Gov. Perdue Announces Unemployment Assistance Available for Some Affected by April Storms
Reminds State Residents to Follow Steps to Get Help with Storm Recovery 


RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue visited a disaster recovery center in Raleigh on Tuesday where she announced that unemployment insurance benefits are now available for North Carolinians who became unemployed because of the April 16 severe storms.

During her visit to the recovery center at the Chavis Park Community Center, Gov. Perdue reminded all North Carolinians affected by the storms that federal, state and local resources are available to help the recovery process.

“There is help available, and North Carolinians affected by the storm should not wait to ask for it,” Gov. Perdue said. “These are the times when we come together and help each other.” The Disaster Unemployment Assistance is for self-employed business people, farmers and others not typically covered under traditional unemployment benefits.

To apply, contact the ESC by email at, or by calling 1-(866) 795-8877. Individuals are encouraged to file as soon as possible.

Disaster recovery can seem like a confusing process but following some simple steps will help ensure that all those affected by the storms get the critical help they need.

Register with FEMA

Anyone living in the eighteen disaster-declared counties who has had any type of damage from the storm should register with FEMA. You may qualify for assistance even if you have insurance. Register by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585, or by visiting FEMA Helpline hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week until further notice. If you have a smartphone, you can register at

You can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Representatives from the North Carolina Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies are available to explain assistance programs and help survivors apply for disaster aid. Recovery specialists also help disaster survivors get in touch with other programs that may be able to help.

Bertie County - Colerain Community Building, 106 W. Academy St., Colerain

Bladen County - Powell-Melvin Agricultural Center, 450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown

Cumberland County – Dept. of Social Services, 1225 Ramsey St., Fayetteville

Harnett County - East Pointe Village Shopping Center, 1165 E.Cumberland St., Dunn

Johnston County - The Herald Building, 125 S. 4th St., Smithfield

Lee County - McSwain Agricultural Center, 2420 Tramway Rd., Sanford

Wake County - Chavis Heights Community Center, 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Raleigh

Wilson County – Vester Toyata Builiding, 900-C Highway 301 N., Wilson

Other centers will open soon in counties designated for assistance.

FEMA will assign an inspector to assess damages to your home. The inspector will make an appointment to meet with you. At the appointment, you will need to provide a photo ID and verify your name, address, and the FEMA registration number you received when you registered. There is no charge for the inspection.

Get help for your small business

Business Link North Carolina, a network of statewide, state-funded business resource providers, is offering referral services for businesses looking for assistance in the wake of the storm. Small business owners can call 1-800-228-8443 and Business Link NC can help find the right resource.

Additionally, the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), a leading resource for growing and developing businesses, will provide free assistance to

assess the financial impact on your business assist with loss minimization deal with creditors prepare SBA disaster loan applications reconstruct financial statements and recapture records Protect your property

Call your insurance company and file claims promptly. Document any damage as thoroughly as possible, including taking photographs. Don't forget to provide FEMA with documentation from your insurance company about your claim. You can contact the NC Department of Insurance Helpline at 800 546-5664 for assistance.

Don't wait for a visit from FEMA inspectors to clean up storm-damaged property. Clean up carefully. For tips on cleanup, visit Also, local building departments may require permits and further inspections.

Protect yourself

Keep all receipts and document expenditures. Disaster assistance must be spent according to the guidelines outlined in FEMA's letter to you. You may be asked to prove how disaster assistance was spent to meet disaster-related needs, so keep all bills and receipts for three years.

Watch out for scams. FEMA inspections are free and inspectors always have photo identification. They will never ask for money or your social security number. Use only licensed contractors and ask for proof of insurance.

If you have any concerns, contact the Attorney General's office at 1-977-NO-SCAM.

Stay in touch. FEMA needs to be able to contact you, so updating your contact information is important. 

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