Beginning the Recovery Process After a Major Disaster
Hurricane Florence has left many individuals and businesses in South Carolina without shelter, electricity, or the ability to do business. At Cooper, we’ve worked tirelessly around-the-clock these last couple weeks to aid residential and commercial customers in need of HVAC, electrical, and generator services.
However, it seems the worst of Florence will be felt long after the storm has left. Record-setting flood waters threaten many areas outside of normal-risk flood zones. The unfortunate result will be a record number of Horry and Georgetown county residents and companies with flooded homes and businesses.
In this post we will highlight the process for recovery.
Thankfully, the federal response to Hurricane Florence has been swift. Within days, the White House authorized a Federal Major Disaster Declaration for South Carolina that brought resources to our region and commits federal funds through FEMA toward relief and recovery.
Working with Insurance and SCEMD
If you are a home or business owner, your first call should be to your insurance provider. Small business insurance policies vary, but you’ll want to review our policy carefully to see what coverage is provided for natural disasters.
FEMA and other federal relief may still be available to you even if you have insurance, but it is important that all insurance benefits are exhausted before federal financial assistance to avoid duplication of benefits. Keep a record of your exchanges with your insurance agents and keep copies of claims to avoid potential problems.
Types of Federal Assistance Available
- There are many, many different types of recovery aid available, and for the uninitiated, simply finding what is available and differentiating the different applications and agencies can be a challenge. Whether an individual or a business, your first stop should be the South Carolina Emergency Management Division website. Here are the types of assistance that may be most valuable to our residential and commercial customers:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program directs funds through the Individual and Household Program (IHP). The maximum assistance for households through the IHP in 2018 is $34,000.
- Home Physical Disaster Loans: Homeowners and renters may apply for this loan to repair or replace real estate and/or personal property damaged by a disaster.
- Business Physical Disaster Loans: Businesses of any size may apply for this loan to repair or replace property owned by the business that was damaged by a disaster.
- Housing Assistance: For the many who are (or will soon be) displaced from their homes, housing assistance is available for home repair or temporary housing. Qualified applicants must be uninsured or under-insured.
- Medical and Other Needs Assistance: Federal recovery funds may also be available for medical, dental, or funeral expenses caused by the disaster. You can also recoup expenses for moving, storage and transportation resulting from the disaster. For these, you’ll need to submit an application with the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Top Resources for Getting Information and Filing Claims
South Carolina Emergency Management Division “Recovery Programs” page: This should be the first page you visit to explore what’s available to you.
Disaster Assistance Application Site: DisasterAssistance.gov is where you can find, apply, and check the status of your assistance.
Disaster Assistance Documentation: Damage forms, instructions, fact sheets and more for both individuals and businesses.
FEMA Helpline: Contact FEMA by toll-free phone, internet help desk, or through a local disaster recovery center located through their website. If you are struggling with the recovery process, this is what this help center is for.
Cooper Mechanical Services is South Carolina Strong
Cooper Mechanical Services and Cooper Electrical Services have been serving coastal South Carolina since 1989. We are proud to be South Carolinians, and we are committed to providing the best service possible to our communities.
For HVAC, electrical, generator, and mechanical services, Call Cooper.