STEP Program for Hurricane Florence Deadline has been extended to Feb 10th!


Deadline to join STEP by returning Right of Entry form is FEBRUARY 10, 2019.

FEMA has identified those homeowners who are eligible for the Step Program.  Homeowners may have received phone calls, emails, postcards etc.  This is not a scam and we urge you to contact the call center if you may have misplaced the information from FEMA.  Eligible homeowners may also visit the application portal at or call (833) 257-1100 Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

More information about the STEP program is available at

You may also sign your Right of Entry form in CRAVEN COUNTY at the Judicial Complex, 1100 Clarks Road, New Bern on Wednesday, January 9th from 4-7pm

Once a homeowner completes the form, an inspector will visit the home to assess the damage. For homes confirmed eligible for STEP, the inspector will develop a repair plan. Depending on the level of damage, the repairs will be made by either a volunteer disaster relief group (NC Baptists on Mission or United Methodist Committee on Relief) or a professional contractor managed by the state.

Who is eligible?

  • FEMA has identified 15,784 homeowners as candidates for the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power Program (STEP).
  • Eligible homeowners in the following counties may be able to participate in STEP: Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson.
  • You must live in a single family, owner occupied property and you should be ready to return to your community and shelter in your home, after partial repairs.
  • Completed STEP repairs will end your eligibility for FEMA Direct Housing in a trailer or mobile home and for Transitional Housing Assistance in a hotel.

STEP provides basic, partial repairs to make homes safe, clean and secure to help North Carolina homeowners with minor damage from Hurricane Florence get back in their home quickly.

  • Rapid, partial repairs are completed to make the home safe, clean and secure, so the homeowner and family can live at home while longer-term repairs continue.
  • Living at home while additional repairs continue means people can return to work and school in their communities.
  • STEP will not make complete repairs to your home, but will allow you to continue sheltering at home.

Should I participate in STEP?

  • Many residents in shelters and hotels are ready to go home and return to their communities.  This may not be possible if their home is not safe, secure and sanitary yet.  If you are ready to leave the shelter, hotel room and go home, the STEP program could be what you are waiting for.
  • Remember that STEP provides only partial repairs necessary to make your home safe and sanitary, and ready for further repairs.  But it does allow you to get back into your home and community so you can begin the task of rebuilding.

FEMA Appeals Clinics

Florence survivors: Get free help filing FEMA appeals and reconsideration.

Press Release December 19, 2018

RALEIGH · December 19, 2018 – Pro bono attorneys will help Hurricane Florence survivors file FEMA appeals and reconsiderations at free Saturday clinics on Jan. 12 in New Bern, Feb. 9 in Wilmington and Feb. 23 in Morehead City. See sidebar for details.

Florence survivors have the right to appeal FEMA’s decision if it denied their application for assistance, or if they believe they are eligible for additional assistance. Survivors must appeal in writing – not by email – within 60 days of the date on their FEMA decision letter.

Survivors whose appeal has already been denied can still ask FEMA to reconsider its decision if they can present compelling new evidence, like a late-arriving letter from their insurance company, to support their claim.

Survivors who want to file an appeal or reconsideration can attend these clinics to learn more about their rights and get free help from a North Carolina pro bono attorney.

The clinics will start with an educational presentation given by an attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina, followed by confidential, one-on-one meetings with pro bono attorneys recruited by the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center and the North Carolina Bar Foundation. The clinics are funded by a grant from the North Carolina State Bar’s IOLTA program and coordinated by the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center.

At the clinics, the pro bono attorneys will help survivors figure out why FEMA made its decision and if they are eligible to file an appeal or reconsideration. For eligible survivors, the attorneys will help them prepare and send in their request.

Survivors must register in advance to meet with a pro bono attorney at no cost. Survivors can register for free at No registration is required to attend the educational presentation.

Survivors who register to meet with a pro bono attorney should bring with them all their relevant documents and a photo ID.

“You don’t need a lawyer to file a FEMA appeal, but having one definitely helps. The process can seem daunting, especially for those who are still struggling to recover. Having an expert by your side can take away a lot of that stress,” Lesley Albritton, head of Legal Aid NC’s disaster relief efforts, said.

“North Carolina lawyers have really stepped up to the plate to help Florence survivors,” Katherine Asaro, staff attorney with the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, said.

“These volunteers will provide a service that is critical to helping survivors get back on their feet, and it’s one that many couldn’t afford otherwise. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity. We are also very excited about partnering with local community colleges on this project,” she said.

Media contacts

  • Sean Driscoll, Director of Public Relations, Legal Aid of North Carolina, 919-856-2132,
  • Katherine Asaro, Staff Attorney, North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, 919-890-1097,

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center recruits, trains, supports, and promotes lawyers who provide pro bono legal services in civil cases to North Carolinians with unmet legal needs. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Disaster Casework Training

DISASTER CASEWORK TRAINING:  This training will provide an overview of Disaster Case Management, an introduction of Disaster Casework and equip participants with a practical tool for canvassing impacted neighborhoods.  Having volunteers with this training will enable CCDRA to move forward with screening of households and assessments of need.  The full Case Management Training will be offered later in the Fall.

The training will be held Friday, November 9th and Saturday, November 10th 2018 in the Session House of the First Presbyterian Church, 418 New Street, New Bern, NC.   The Session House is located to the right of the Sanctuary as you face the church from New St.  The training on Friday will be from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Lunch will be provided on Saturday.

This is a free training. As a part of the training you will receive a CCDRA T-shirt, course materials and on-the-ground experience of the work in a neighborhood.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes. (Donations toward the cost of the  tee shirt would be appreciated)

Seating is limited, so please reconfirm or confirm your participation for both Friday and Saturday by return email to response2018@suddenlinknet with your name, t-shirt size, phone no. and mailing address.

Grace and peace,

John, Chair


Need Assistance After Hurricane Florence?



1) New Bern at 710 Degraffenreid Avenue
(old Eckerd’s Building)

2) Havelock at 537 Hwy 70, Suite 103

OR Call 800-621-3362 (for Spanish PRESS 2)
Last Date to apply to FEMA is November 13, 2018


COMPLETE the SBA Loan Application at a Disaster Recovery Center
1)  710 Degraffenreid Ave – New Bern
2)  537 Highway 70, Suite 103 – Havelock

OR Call 800-659-2955


CONNECT with Crisis Clean Up
To connect with organizations who can assist with FREE Home and Storm Debris Clean Up
Call 800-451-1954/
Last Date to request assistance is November 2, 2018.


Craven Co. Disaster Recovery Alliance
Coordinating Long Term Recovery Efforts

If you can volunteer, CCDRA needs you!

NEED HELP? Call one of these organizations


  • muck and gut out your flooded home
  • Cut Storm damaged Trees
  • Tarp Storm damaged roofs
  • Rebuilding

(800) 451-1954  To get your home registered with ALL groups in our area helping!

Or contact one of these organizations directly that are already here in our community:

1500 Kingdom Way, New Bern, NC
Phone:  (707) 354-3382

Phone:  (252) 637-7283

Port City Community Church
2840 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 28562

Phone: (252) 725-5802

521 West Grantham Road, New Bern, NC

Phone:  (252) 635-2621

Craven County Disaster Recovery Center Opens


FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers are Open in Craven County

NEW BERN, N.C. – FEMA has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the old Eckerd/Rite Aid store located at 710 DeGraffenreid Avenue in New Bern and in Havelock at the Old Rue 21 at 537 Hwy 70, Suite 103.   The DRC serves as a one-stop location for citizens affected by Hurricane Florence to apply for disaster assistance and other benefits available to them through support agencies. Valuable state, local and federal resources will be provided at the DRC will be open until November 13, 2018.  Call 800-621-3362 for days and times.

All homeowners, renters or business owners who sustained property damage as a result of Hurricane Florence are encouraged to register with FEMA in one of the following ways:
1. Online at
2. Call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (PRESS 2 for Spanish).   Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 1-800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 1-800-462-7585
3. Download FEMA’s mobile app
4. Visit the Disaster Recovery Center for help with registration, appeal and applying for SBA loan.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if you have registered with another disaster-relief organization such as the American Red Cross, or local community or church organization. For more information Craven County’s Hurricane Florence recovery efforts, visit the Craven County website at, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Emergency Management Twitter account @cravencountync. Visit the Craven County website to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.

Craven County Hurricane Relief Resources

Hurricane Relief Resources
Updated 9/27/2018

Visit or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). You will need the following to apply for assistance:

  • Social Security Number
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property
  • Insurance information, if available.



General Info:

NC 2-1-1 is statewide information and referral source.  If you need help in relief, rebuilding or recovery call 2-1-1 from your phone and explain the nature of your need.

CRAVEN COUNTY POD (Point of Distribution) – CLOSED 9/26/2018

CHRIST CHURCH in New Bern is setting up a computer lab for those with limited access to the internet


– West NB Rec Center
– Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary

Please check online for availability and shelter needs:


Planet Fitness til 8 pm

YMCA til 5 pm

Info From RCS (Religious Community Services)

Posted on September 27, 2018

DONATIONS AND DISTRIBUTION UPDATE!! The Omega Center will be open for LIMITED hours Thursday and Friday of this week between 9-12. These hours will be reserved for larger organizations to pickup items for distribution in outlying areas. Our public distribution from the Omega Center has closed as county efforts have now shifted to building/renovation supplies. We are collaborating with a variety of area groups who will help us distribute the supplies we have on hand to those who need it most. Information about selected groups will be released as the list is completed. RCS will return to normal operating hours next week; although the Soup Kitchen is already OPEN for anyone in need of lunch this week. Located at 919 George Street. Please help us spread the word!



Red Cross is cooking meals at all above shelters.

Southern Baptist Men and Disaster Relief is set up at Temple Baptist Church at 1500 Kingdom Way in New Bern with their largest feeding unit. They are feeding and will be doing recovery work (mud-outs/tear outs).


If You Want to Donate or Volunteer:

ONLINE GIVING:  You can support efforts through online giving. Visit the following site to make a donation. ALL funds will be utilized for hurricane recovery efforts in our area:


– cleaning supplies (Clorox wipes, mops, buckets, bleach)

– baby wipes – bottled water

– blankets, sheets, pillows, towels (new or gently used)

– NEW underwear for men, women, children (adults in L, XL, XXL)

– NEW socks

– baby diapers, formula

– feminine products – deodorant

– grocery bags

– contractor bags for yard debris

– tape (electrical, duct and packing)


– Box fans

– Utility knives and leather works glove

– Hand sanitizer


Samaritan’s Purse is in town and will be coordinating volunteer efforts for at-large community efforts (yard work, house cleaning, etc.) Contact information is available online at You can also visit them in New Bern at Port City Community Church located 2840 Neuse Boulevard behind Burger King and next to Rose’s. They help coordinate chainsaw work, mudding out houses using local volunteers.

RCS needs volunteers to help at the distribution sites.  Call 252-368-6397.


Debris Removal:

Craven County Solid Waste at 252-636-6608.

Crisis Cleanup is setup and taking calls and requests on their website. The website is: Their phone number is: (800) 451-1954.

Crisis Cleanup is available in clearing debris from your property.  Call 800-451-1954 to register for assistance.

Eight Days of Hope will be at Garber Methodist Church from September 23rd – October 20th, 2018.  VISIT HERE for more information.



Help for Small Business


North Carolina’s leading resources for small and midsize businesses are collaborating with federal partners to provide recovery assistance to NC businesses impacted by Hurricane Florence. Assistance includes help with developing recovery strategies as well as access to capital needed to support immediate cleanup costs and longer-term recovery from physical damage and economic losses.

  1. Contact your insurance carrier to file your claim. If you are leasing business space, ensure that your lease owner has contacted their insurance carrier. Take pictures of the damage.
  2. Register with FEMA. Once a federal disaster declaration has been made for your area (check here for a list of declared counties, we update it daily), contact FEMA by phone or online at to report any loss. FEMA will take your information and provide you with a registration number. For business losses, FEMA will refer you to the U.S. Small Business Administration.FEMA Phone Registration
    1-800-621-FEMA    (3362) or TTY
    1-800-462-7585    (speech & hearing impaired).You can also visit a FEMA/SBA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in your area. DRC’s are temporary assistance centers that are established after a federal disaster declaration has been made. These centers have staff from both FEMA and SBA and oftentimes other state resources. We update our list of locations regularly as more recovery centers open across the region. These centers are often busy, so if you are able to register by phone or online, we recommend that. (If you want to learn what other resources are available, you may want to visit a center directly.) SBA also has Business Recovery Centers (BRC’s). These locations are staffed by SBA staff only. Often less busy, but they only handle SBA loan application
  3. Contact the North Carolina SBTDC near you for assistance in developing your overall recovery plan. Our organization has been helping small and mid-size business in NC for 35 years. Our counseling staff can help you: (a) Assess the financial impact on your business (b) Reconstruct financial statements (c) Explore options with creditors (d) Prepare your emergency bridge loan and/or SBA disaster loan application
  4. If needed, apply for a Rapid Recovery loan. If you need speedy access to capital, Thread Capital, the NC Rural Center’s lending arm, offers Rapid Recovery loans up to $50,000 dollars. Click here to apply. These short-term loans can be repaid with insurance proceeds or other disaster loan proceeds (such as an SBA disaster loan). The application requirements and documentation are minimal, but SBTDC counselors can help with your application if you need assistance.
  5. If needed, apply for an SBA disaster loan. SBA provides low interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses, and non-profits. SBTDC counselors can assist you in preparing your loan package which often requires some homework on your part – gathering documents and tax records, etc. SBTDC counselors can also help evaluate your ability to repay a loan and help you make good decisions for your recovery. There are two types of SBA disaster loans: (1) physical damage; and (2) economic injury. Apply online, visit an SBTDC office, or visit a recovery center in your area.