Ocracoke residents, business owners strongly advised to apply for help at relief center

[Connie Leinbach/Ocracoke Observer photo]

Hyde County is strongly advising Ocracoke residents and business owners that are seeking any type of Dorian-related assistance to go to the Joint Recovery Center and register to simplify the process.

According to a statement issued Friday, the Joint Recovery Center Office, located in the Variety Store parking lot, is scheduled to end operations on Thursday at 4 p.m.

If you have already registered at the Mobile Disaster Relief Office, please go back and check in, so that your applications can be updated to determine your eligibility for State Disaster Assistance.

This is due to the state issuing a declaration providing Individual Assistance in lieu of FEMA individual assistance.

There are several agencies represented at the Joint Recovery Center. You will be guided through the process and directed to fill out paperwork so that each agency is able to best fulfill your needs.

One of those agencies is the Small Business Administration (SBA). Please don’t be confused by the name of the agency. You do not have to be a business to benefit from SBA programs. Individuals are also eligible for SBA loans.

The SBA application is the portal to all other Disaster Assistance. You will have to first file paperwork to determine your level of need and your existing resources. That paperwork is in the form of a loan application, but:

  • You will not be required to take out a loan if you do not want to
  • The purpose of the loan application is to determine if your existing resources qualify you for a grant, housing assistance, volunteer services or other types of Disaster Assistance.

County officials say they are aware that some of this process seems redundant, but they urge victims to do everything you can to benefit from the Disaster Assistance programs available. Going to the Joint Recovery Center next to the Variety Store is the most direct and easiest way to access Disaster Assistance.

Disaster Assistance programs will continue to be available after the Joint Recovery Center leaves Ocracoke, but access will be through the SBA website and will be much more complicated than if you simply go into the Joint Recovery Center Office and work with the people there.

The deadline for filing with the SBA for physical damage to your property is December 16, 2019.

Local Disaster Assistance is also available to help you with:

  • Commodities, tools, food, etc.
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Housing and rent assistance
  • Medical needs
  • Utility Bills

To access Local Disaster Assistance, please go to the Joint Recovery Center next to the Variety Store. If you have concerns or immediate emergency needs, please email unmet@oirrt.org or admin@oirrt.org or call 833-543-3248 and a case worker will be instructed to contact you.

Please follow our social media outlets, twitter.com/HydeNC or facebook.com/HydeCountyNC for the latest information.

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