Craven County Public Hearing on use of Federal Disaster Mitigation Funds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 3, 2019

State to hold public hearings on use of federal disaster mitigation funds – Hearing scheduled for Craven county

RALEIGH−ReBuild NC, the state’s long-term disaster recovery program, will hold a public hearing in CRAVEN COUNTY to receive public comment and input on a draft action plan for spending $168 million in Community Development Block Grant–Mitigation funding allocated to North Carolina by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Under federal guidelines, the funds must be used to implement community projects that strengthen local infrastructure and reduce future losses in areas impacted by hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

“These funds will help communities coordinate local planning activities and projects that will make them more resilient in the face of future storms,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “It’s important for people to have an opportunity to weigh in and learn how communities can rebuild smarter and stronger.”

Interactive sessions and presentations planned for the hearing will include information on what mitigation is and how the HUD mitigation funding may be used. People who attend will also have an opportunity to provide public comments and ask questions of state mitigation experts. Craven County’s Public hearing date and location follows:

Craven County
6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16
Grover C. Fields Middle School
Performing Arts Center
2000 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
New Bern, NC 28560

At the hearing, doors will open at 6 p.m. and presentations will begin at 6:30 p.m. People who would like to provide public comments will be given three minutes to speak. Those wishing to speak are encouraged to bring a written copy of their comments to the hearing. Written public comments may also be submitted by email to publiccomments@rebuild.nc.gov or by mail to P.O. Box 110465, Durham, NC 27709. Anyone needing special accommodations at a public hearing should call 984-833-4344 or send an email to: info@rebuild.nc.gov. For additional information, please visit the ReBuild NC website.

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Congratulations Steve Tyson

Today at the Craven Community College Foundation’s 9th Annual Community Fabric Awards, Steve Tyson received the 2019 Community Fabric Award for Individual Leadership. Steve has spent countless hours since Hurricane Florence helping families recover, through his leadership with CCDRA and through his knowledge and compassion with each individual in need.

We are grateful for his work on the CCDRA Board of Directors and all he does for our community!

Update to Step Program

From NC DPS on April 16, 2019

North Carolina Extends STEP Program to Repair More Homes Damaged by Hurricane Florence 202 More Families to Return Home Thanks to Partial, Temporary Repairs

More families will soon be able to return home while they work to rebuild from Hurricane Florence thanks to an extension of a program to provide partial housing repairs, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.

The original Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program implemented with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wrapped up in early April with repairs completed on more than 2,100 homes. Using state funds, North Carolina is extending the program to 202 additional single-family homes in 12 counties. The program provides partial repairs at no cost to homeowners so Hurricane Florence survivors can return to and remain in their homes while longer-term repairs continue. 

“People want to be able to live in their own homes while they work to recover from Hurricane Florence,” Gov. Cooper said. “We’ve expanded this program to make it possible for more North Carolina families to get home faster.” 

The original STEP program provided repairs to homes with up to $17,000 in damage. The 202 homes included in the second phase of STEP applied for the original program but had slightly more damage. North Carolina Emergency Management stepped in using state funds to include these additional homes.

Work crews from Baptists on Mission, the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and four general contracting companies are currently making repairs to the 202 homes in Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson counties.

Hurricane Florence survivors who still face long-term housing issues are urged to participate in the Disaster Case Management program. The state has contracted with experienced case managers who will work in conjunction with faith-based and volunteer organizations to help meet survivors’ needs.

To connect with a disaster case manager, Hurricane Florence survivors can email DCMNC@Endeavors.org or call one of two regional offices listed below:

  • Residents of Anson, Bladen, Brunswick, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Durham, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, New Hanover, Orange, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and Union counties should call the Fayetteville office at 910-672-6175
  • Residents of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties should call the Jacksonville office at 910-378-4913

There are additional state and federal programs which are either underway or awaiting funding to assist Hurricane Florence survivors. FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps eligible homeowners and local governments to rebuild, elevate or buy out flooded properties.

North Carolina is waiting for notification from Washington on another major program that will help with Hurricane Florence housing recovery, the federal Community Development Block Grant−Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In October 2018, Congress passed legislation appropriating CDBG-DR funds for Florence and several other natural disasters, but North Carolina does not yet know what share of the funds it will receive or the rules for using those funds to help with long-term recovery.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is also assisting hurricane survivors with housing solutions through its Back@Home NC program. The initiative assists families who were not eligible for FEMA assistance to transition to safe and stable housing. To date, more than 200 families have moved to permanent housing through the program. 

Contractor Fraud – What you should know!

Disaster Repair

Most contractors and tree removal companies in North Carolina are good business people, and many local merchants pitch in to help their community recover from a disaster. However, some scammers travel to areas that have been hit by storms and other disasters to take advantage of consumers.    Follow these tips to avoid trouble with home repair after a disaster:

  • Be Safe. Do not attempt to move downed power lines. Call your utility company immediately for assistance.
  • Contact your insurance company. Some insurance companies require an adjuster’s approval before work can be done. Take pictures and videos, if possible, of the damage. Cover holes in your roof or walls with a tarp if you can do so safely to prevent additional damage.
  • Do not pay for work up front. Inspect the work and make sure you are satisfied before you pay. A reasonable down payment may be required for some projects, but don’t pay anything without getting a written contract. Avoid paying with cash; use a check or a credit card instead.
  • Beware of any contractor who tries to rush you or who comes to your home offering assistance. If an offer is only good “now or never,” find someone else to do the work. Avoid contractors, including roofers, who go door-to-door offering services. Instead, get recommendations from friends, neighbors, co-workers and others who have had work performed on their homes recently.
  • Get three written estimates for the work, if possible, and compare bids. Check credentials and contact the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau to learn about any complaints against the contractor. Ask to get the contractor’s certificate of insurance directly from their insurance company, not from the contractor.  Before work begins make sure you get a written contract that lists all the work to be performed, its costs and a completion date. Read the contract and make sure it includes any verbal promises you may have received from the contractor. Services like cleaning or storage of your belongings often come with extra charges, which can really add up depending on the length of storage.
  • Watch out for price gouging. Under North Carolina law, businesses cannot charge too much for goods or services when a disaster, an emergency or an abnormal market disruption for critical services has been declared or proclaimed by the Governor.  Under the law, the Attorney General’s Office can put a stop to price gouging and seek refunds for consumers who paid too much. The courts may also impose civil penalties against price gougers of up to $5,000 for each violation.

We Can Help   If you have a complaint about disaster repair or price gouging or need to check out a contractor, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

“Getting through the Holidays: A Seminar Dealing with Loss after the Hurricane”

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The upcoming holidays can be a difficult time for those who are experiencing  loss after Hurricane Florence.  Loss of treasured items full of holiday memories may make this holiday season especially challenging.  On Saturday, December 1, “Getting through the Holidays:  A Seminar Dealing with Loss after the Hurricane” will cover topics listed below.  The seminar is free & open to all in the community.

“Why Might the Holidays be Difficult after Hurricane Florence?”

 “Tips for Managing Holiday Emotions”

“How to Create a Plan for Approaching the Holidays”

WHEN:                         Saturday, December 1st from  9:30 AM – 12:00 Noon

WHERE:                      Centenary United Methodist Church,  309 New St; New Bern, NC 28560

FACILITATORS:       Pam Bonina, Grief Share Facilitator and Rev. Barbara Bornemann, Retired Pastor/Hospice Chaplain

REGISTRATION:    Please register by Mon, Nov. 26 by email or phone: marshall@centenarychurch.com or (252) 637-4181

 

This seminar is free!   If you know someone who has experienced loss after the hurricane, please invite them to attend.  All are welcome!

Hurricane Stress Help

Thanks to the hard work of our Spiritual & Emotional Care Committee the following information will be included in backpack blessings.  Please share this information with anyone feeling stress from Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Stress/Hurricane Help  

Are you or your children having trouble:

* eating  *  sleeping/having nightmares   *  doing chores/homework   *   trusting

people  *  enjoying everyday activities   * feeling unsafe   *   keeping your cool/

managing anger  *  feeling down or hopeless/crying

Need help now?

Call 1-877-685-2415 (Mobile Crisis  Unit) or 9-1-1 in an emergency

Need to Talk to Someone?

Pastoral Counseling Hotline:

1-800-525-5683 (K-Love)

Distress Hotline for Counseling &  Support:

1-800-985-5990

 Call 2-1-1 to get information about local resources