In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the American Red Cross has sheltered thousands of people, sent our response vehicles into neighborhoods to deliver meals, snacks and relief items, and had volunteers provide emotional support and health services.
Now, the Red Cross is starting a multi-phased approach to get emergency financial assistance into the hands of people across the Carolinas whose homes were most affected. This financial assistance will allow people to make their own decisions and prioritize what their family needs most to start recovering. Funds can help families replace clothes or food, offset transportation costs, or support any other immediate need. Spending these funds locally will also support Carolinian communities as they begin recovering from the enormous economic losses inflicted by Florence.
Thanks to our generous donors, the Red Cross will provide $600 to households whose homes were confirmed to have been destroyed or sustained major damage from Hurricane Florence and need help taking care of emergency needs right now. During the first phase of this effort, the Red Cross will send personalized emails and text messages to eligible households by using information already collected and verified by FEMA through the inspection process.
Eligible households include those whose:
- Primary, pre-disaster residence was located in one of the 36 federally declared counties in South Carolina or North Carolina (proof that the applicant is the legal owner, renter or lessee of the residence is required); and
- Primary, pre-disaster residence was destroyed or sustained major damage from Hurricane Florence (verified by FEMA); and
- Head of household responds to the personalized email or text message sent directly to them.
Major damage is indicated by significant structural damage to a residence that requires extensive repairs. This may include substantial failure of the roof, walls or foundation, or a water line above 18 inches. A residence that is destroyed is one that is a total loss or with damage so extensive that repair is not feasible.
During this first phase, the Red Cross will mail checks to households within about 7-10 business days after approval. Red Cross financial assistance is not a loan and will not need to be repaid.
Beginning in mid-October, we will expand into the second phase of our effort to provide financial assistance to residents of the Carolinas based on Red Cross damage assessment information. This second phase will also include support for households that didn't register or weren't eligible for FEMA assistance. For both phases of Red Cross assistance, the eligibility criteria-primarily the location of the home and extent of damage-will be the same.