COLUMBIA, S.C. – Public Assistance was approved by FEMA for 11 additional South Carolina counties to help them recover from October’s severe flooding. This assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency enables state agencies, local governments, and certain private non-profits to recoup costs for storm response, debris removal, and infrastructure damage.
The 11 additional counties are now eligible for all categories of the FEMA Public Assistance program: Abbeville, Anderson, Bamberg, Colleton, Darlington, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Laurens, McCormick, and Newberry Counties.
In addition, Berkeley, Georgetown, Richland and Williamsburg counties are now eligible for all categories of public assistance. Before now, these four counties were only eligible for debris removal and emergency protective measures.
The Public Assistance categories are as follows:
- Category A: Debris Removal.
- Category B: Emergency Protective Measures.
- Category C: Roads and Bridges.
- Category D: Water Control Facilities.
- Category E: Buildings and Equipment.
- Category F: Utilities.
- Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities and Other Items.
The FEMA Public Assistance program is a reimbursement grant program. Typically, the federal share is 75 percent and the state or local governments pay the remaining 25 percent whereas eligible private non-profit groups are responsible for the full 25 percent.
Beyond FEMA’s Public Assistance program, FEMA also provides Individual Assistance, which is direct aid to residents who’ve been severely affected by severe storms and flooding in South Carolina. Flood survivors in Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg Counties can register with FEMA the following ways:
- Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Apply via smartphone at m.fema.gov.
Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362); those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
Flood victims may also qualify for a low-interest federal loan through the Small Business Administration: Click here for more information.