Make A Plan
It is important to secure your home and protect your valuable possessions. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 - November 30. While devastating hurricanes can occur anytime during those months, peak hurricane season is mid-August to late October. Know your nearest shelters, and inform your family of your plans.
Make A Kit
An emergency kit is a container of items your family may need in or after an emergency. Put the kit in a location where everyone in your household can access it. Put enough water, food, and supplies to last three to seven days (don’t forget about your pets!).
In the event of an emergency, it is important to have multiple sources of information and potential alerts. Emergency messages are shared via cell phone services, TV, radio, NOAA, and the internet. Additionally, there are multiple websites with trusted sources of information on such events, including:
- North Carolina Department of Public Safety
- North Carolina 2-1-1
- North Carolina Emergency Management
- National Hurricane Center
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
Watches vs. Warnings
In order to keep your family safe as a storm threatens your area, it is important to know the difference between watches and warnings. A watch means weather conditions in the area have the potential of becoming dangerous to potentially life-threatening within 48 hours. A warning means severe conditions are imminent within 36 hours.
When preparing for a natural disaster within your area, one of the most important things a homeowner can do is confirm they have a good insurance policy. Be aware that homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage, regardless of if you own or rent. Whether you are in a high, low, or moderate risk area, a separate flood insurance policy can be purchased. Policies are available for both residential and commercial buildings as long as the community joins in the National Flood Insurance Program. Remember that new flood insurance policies often require a 30-day waiting period.
For information about the National Flood Insurance Program, call 888-379-9531.
When debating whether to evacuate or stay within your home during an emergency, it is always important to follow the orders of local emergency management officials. As you may not have much time to leave in some incidents, it is always important to have a disaster and evacuation plan in place with your family. Visit ReadyNC for evacuation routes, evactuation zones, and what to take to a shelter.
Staying Safe at Home
If you choose to remain home or it is instructed by local emergency management officials, you must prepare to be self-sufficient for several days. Some important steps to take in ensuring safety within your home include the following:
- Never run a generator inside your home or garage. Carbon monoxide fumes can build up and become deadly.
- During a power outage, do not open your refrigerators or freezers unless absolutely necessary. This could cause cold air to escape, making food thaw more quickly.
- Cover windows and doors with plywood and shutters. Thick plastic sheeting and duct tape can also be utilized.
- Bring all of your family members and pets inside.
- Bring your emergency supply kit with you.
- Go into an inside room on the first floor with few windows.
- Stay informed using the radio or other electronic devices.
- Bring loose items (tables, chairs, etc.) indoors.
If you need assistance navigating these resources, please do not hesitate to call one of our offices.
Disaster Distress Helpline
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by a recent disaster, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 any time day or night to speak with a trained crisis counselor. Or text TalkWithUs to 66746. For Spanish, text Hablanos to 66746.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) operates the hotline. SAMSHA offers free, year-round disaster crisis counseling services. Additional information is available online at Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disaster Distress Helpline.
U.S. Small Business Administration
Economic injury disaster loans are available from the SBA to provide disaster-related working capital to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. For more information visit the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development
The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes, including manufactured homes. Call 800-304-9320 or email email@example.com to learn about resources. To find an approved lender near you, visit the HUD Lender List Search.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency
Along with FEMA grants and SBA loans, farmers and ranchers may be eligible for emergency loans through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Eligible losses covered by emergency loans and other programs may include crops and livestock. For more information, go online to fsa.usda.gov or visit the nearest FSA office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
The USDA Rural Development can provide assistance to homeowners in rural areas. The USDA Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans Program, also known as Section 502 Direct Loan Program, helps low- and very-low-income families living in rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. Loan funds can be used to purchase homes in rural areas; as well as, to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites.
The USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, also known as Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program, provides low- and moderate- income families living in rural areas with loan funds to build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a dwelling in eligible rural communities.
The USDA Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants, also known as Section 504 Home Repair Program, provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes or grants to elderly (age 62 and older) very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The website for the Office for Civil Rights division of HHS provides information on effective planning, response and recovery for people who have special needs. Before, during and after a disaster, members of this population may have additional needs to maintain independence, communication, transportation, supervision and medical care.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
If you need assistance seeking medication or care from the VA in the aftermath of a hurricane, please call the Veterans Disaster Response Line at 1-800-507-4571.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
For up-to-date resources and information on the federal response to disaster declarations in North Carolina please visit FEMA's North Carolina Homepage.
National Center for Disaster Fraud
If you suspect fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of disaster relief operations, call the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Calls can be made anonymously and confidentially.
North Carolina Emergency Management Individual Assistance Helpline
The NCEM Individual Assistance Helpline is available for those who suffered property damage or loss as a result of a recent hurricane or have issues related to their unmet needs, housing assistance, repairs and medical equipment. Call 919-825-2378.
NC 211 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Families and individuals can dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-892-1162 to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community.
ReadyNC provides resources for everything from traffic jams to hurricanes and ice storms. The app and website provide information on real-time traffic and weather conditions, river levels, evacuations and power outages.
The NC Department of Human and Health Services, in partnership with the NC Coalition to End Homelessness, the NC Housing Finance Agency and other state agencies and partners, is continuing to house individuals and families affected by Hurricane Florence at risk of homelessness through the Back@Home initiative. Visit backathome.org to learn more.
Available Housing Information
North Carolina residents who have been displaced by a disaster may search for available housing on NCHousingSearch.org
Property owners and managers can add and/or update listings of available units. Login here or call toll-free 877-428-8844 for assistance.
Disaster Legal Services
Free legal services are available for low-income survivors of a disaster. Attorneys may be able to assist survivors with disaster-related legal matters. Call the Disaster Legal Services Hotline at 833-242-3549.
If you need help with your insurance claim or settlements, call the NC Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212. For more information, go to NCHurriClaims.com.
Services for Seniors
North Carolina has many programs and services for seniors. Details are available on the NC Department of Health and Human Services website.
County Departments of Social Services
Every county in North Carolina has its own local social services agency. A directory with contact names, addresses and phone numbers is on the NC Department of Health and Human Services website.
Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Services
The NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services works to promote excellence in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs for persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders in North Carolina. Visit their website.
Below you will find a list of local contact information that may be helpful following a disaster. Contacts include county emergency services, shelter information, local Sherriff’s Departments, Red Cross offices, local hospitals and helpful smartphone applications. If you are having trouble finding local contact information, please do not hesitate to call one of our offices.
County by County Emergency Departments:
- New Hanover County Emergency Management; 910-798-6900
- Brunswick County Emergency Management; 910-253-5383
- Pender County Emergency Management; 910-259-1210
- Columbus County Emergency Services; 910-640 6610
- Bladen County Emergency Management; 910 862-6761
- Johnston County Emergency Services; 919-989-5050
- Sampson County Emergency Services; 910-592-8996
- Harnett County Emergency Services; 910-893-7563
Local Sheriff’s Departments:
Below is a county by county list of local Sherriff’s Departments in NC-07. Please contact your local Sherriff’s Department if you have an emergency and cannot get in contact with 9-1-1, your home is flooding, or you are trying to locate a missing person.
Local Red Cross Contact Information:
|Triangle Area Chapter
Phone: (919) 231-1602
|Cape Fear Chapter
Phone: (910) 762-2683
|Central North Carolina Chapter
Phone: (919) 489-6541
Phone: (910) 867-8151
|Northeastern North Carolina Chapter
Phone: (252) 355-38
Local Hospital Contact Information:
Cape Fear Valley - Bladen Healthcare
501 S Poplar St, Elizabethtown, NC 28337
Dosher Memorial Hospital
924 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
2131 S 17th St, Wilmington, NC 28401
United States Postal Service Information:
USPS Service Alerts provide information to consumers, small businesses and business mailers about postal facility service disruptions due to weather-related and other natural disasters or events. Customers can use this website to find if their mail is being delivered, or if their Post Offices are open.
Smartphone Apps to have during and after severe weather:
ReadyNC: Please visit ReadyNC.org for preparedness tips and the most recent updates on hurricane recovery. I would encourage you to download the ReadyNC mobile app for information on real-time traffic and weather conditions, river levels, open shelters, evacuations and power outages.
Red Cross Hurricane App: free; sends alerts from NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); includes a flashlight, alarm and strobe light; for Apple and Android devices. The Red Cross also offers first aid apps for people and pets.
Zello: free; push-to-talk app, works like a walkie-talkie; needs Wi-Fi or data to operate; for Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices and PCs.
AccuWeather: free; gives forecasts, radar and video; for Apple and Android devices.
NOAA Radar US: free; provides real-time radar images; gives National Weather Service alerts.
GasBuddy: GasBuddy has activated its fuel availability tracker so residents in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia can find gas more easily.
How We Can Help
If you have been denied for FEMA Disaster Assistance, you may have the opportunity to appeal the decision. Please contact one of our offices so that a member of our casework team can reach out to you in an effort to help resolve this matter.
Our four offices in Bolivia, Wilmington, Four Oaks and Washington, D.C. stand ready to assist you. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach our Bolivia office by calling (910) 253-6111; our Wilmington office at (910) 395-0202; our Four Oaks office at (919) 938-3040 and Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2731.
For Hurricane related casework needs, please contact Lisa Littler, Deputy District/Constituent Services Director, by calling 919-938-3040.
What do I do if my house is damaged and I need immediate shelter?
You can locate emergency shelter options by zip code by visiting the American Red Cross, or Salvation Army, or by texting SHELTER and your zip code (for example, “SHELTER 01234”) to 4FEMA (43362). (Standard text message rates apply.)
Who do I call in an emergency?
Please dial 9-1-1 if you have a life-threatening emergency. If you are encountering flooding, are unable to locate a family member, or 9-1-1 is not answering, please call your local sheriff department.
How do I register to receive disaster assistance with FEMA?
Individuals and businesses wishing to receive disaster assistance may qualify to receive financial assistance. To see if you qualify:
- Use the address lookup on DisasterAssistance.gov to find out if you qualify for aid.
- Fill out the DisasterAssistance.gov questionnaire and online aid application.
- Call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585)
- To get help in person, find a Disaster Recovery Center near you with the Disaster Recovery Center locator
Where do I find information on road closures?
For road updates from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, please visit their website here.
How do I report a power outage?
To report a power outage with Duke Energy, please call 1-800-POWERON, 1-800-769-3766