FEMA/state Mobile Disaster Recovery Center has opened outside of the
Hatteras Civic Center and will remain operational through Wednesday,
The recovery station, which is open daily from 10
a.m. through 7 p.m. and is easy to spot because of its extensive
outdoor office, is a “one-stop shop” for any resident of Dare County or
the 34 other counties that were affected by Hurricane Matthew,
according to FEMA Disaster Recovery Manager, Eugene Beccue.
“That’s what we’re here for - to assist in any way we can,” says Beccue.
“Anyone that has had damage should come and see
us,” says Nate Custer, FEMA public information officer. “…There is no
requirement to come to the center [if you need assistance], but a lot
of people are more comfortable talking to someone face to face, instead
of on the phone.”
According to a news release from FEMA, the
purpose of the Mobile Disaster Recovery Center, or MRDC, is to serve as
a readily accessible mobile office where residents can go for
information about FEMA, find out about other disaster assistance
programs, and/or get answers to questions related to their individual
And representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Small
Business Administration (SBA), North Carolina Emergency Management, and
other organizations are on hand throughout the day to talk with
individuals one-on-one about all aspects of disaster assistance.
Essentially, the mobile office can tackle a wide
realm of situations. Residents who have not yet registered for FEMA
assistance can do so with the help of on-site applicant service
specialists, while residents who have registered in the past three
weeks for assistance can check on the status of their application.
In addition, people who have registered and who
may have been denied and/or awarded less than they hoped they would
receive for emergency home repairs can also go by the center to receive
“Sometimes a claim is denied because there is
missing information,” explains Custer, “or we may be waiting on the
outcome of the [home insurance claim.]
“Whether someone has registered or not, we’re here to guide them through the process.”
And every resident who has been affected by
Matthew is encouraged to register, according to both Custer and Beccue,
regardless of whether or not they already have home insurance.
“We want everyone to register…. People could be
under-insured, or not have flood or wind insurance to cover [certain
damage],” says Custer. “And some people may not have insurance at all
if they have a home that’s paid for – without a mortgage – or a home
that’s been passed down for generations.”
The mobile office is impressive considering its
outdoor venue, with multiple tables and chairs set up in an
office-style environment, complete with computers, printers, and
telephones – all to make the process of registering, checking on
application status, and addressing other queries easier.
FEMA’s role is to provide grants to homeowners for emergency home repairs that are not covered by home insurance.
“We don’t duplicate the home insurance [funds],”
explains Custer. “We wait on the outcome of that before deciding on the
Renters without rental insurance and small
business owners can also stop by and talk with the SBA regarding loans
to get back on their feet.
As of early Monday afternoon, 18 residents had
already stopped by the mobile office to register and ask questions, and
the number will likely grow as word spreads through local news outlets
and Radio Hatteras public service announcements.
FEMA and the state also have DRCs open in other
impacted counties throughout North Carolina, and may return to Hatteras
Island again in the future, if needed.
In the meantime, residents are encouraged to stop
by, call, or visit the website in order to learn more about the FEMA
assistance that may be available, or to simply inquire about an
“The number one message we want to get out is
that if [people] have damage, come and see us,” says Beccue. “Your
questions can be answered here.”
How to Register:
- Stop by the mobile office at the Hatteras
Civic Center at 56658 Highway 12 in Hatteras, from Monday through
Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (or 3362)
- Call 800-462-7585 if you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and you use a TTY.
- Go online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Download the FEMA Mobile App via https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app