Here to Help: Flood Resources and Next Steps
Last weekend, South Carolinians across the Second Congressional District and our state faced record rainfall, leading to widespread destruction and flooding. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives in this tragedy and all families affected by the devastating flood.
The State of South Carolina received a major federal disaster declaration for three counties in the Second Congressional District: Richland, Lexington and Orangeburg. As conditions develop, more counties may be included. This declaration means that families can receive individual assistance for:
- Temporary Housing Assistance
- Repair Assistance
- Replacement Assistance
- Permanent or Semi-Permanent Construction
Register your damage as soon as possible with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362. When you call, have the following information ready:
- Social Security Number
- A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster
- Insurance information
- Directions to your damaged property
- A telephone number where you can be contacted
Contact your insurance company. Document the damage to your home, vehicle, and property with photos and videos. Reach out and help your neighbors get registered.
As you begin the clean-up and recovery process, keep all receipts. This may help you with your disaster assistance claims.
What happens next?
After submitting your application for assistance, you will receive a FEMA application number. Within a few days, FEMA will contact you and will send a representative to your home to inspect the damage. When the inspector arrives, please have the following ready:
- Personal identification
- Proof of Ownership
- Deed or official record
- Title number from purchase of dwelling
- Mortgage payment book
- Real property insurance
- Tax receipts or property tax bill
- Proof of Occupancy
- Utility bill
- Merchant’s statement
- Employer’s statement
- Current Driver / Non-Driver’s License
The inspector will not make the final determination. The approval process will take approximately 7 to 10 days.
The Congressional Office is here to assist you with this process in whatever way we can. Please contact us at 803-939-0041 or visit www.joewilson.house.gov/flood if we can help.
What about schools, hospitals, and roads?
Repairs to public buildings, roads, and critical infrastructure are covered under Public Assistance funding and will be requested by state and local governments. The Congressional office is here to assist with these requests in whatever way we can.
What about my business?
Contact the Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Program at 1-800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn what resources are available to help you repair and rebuild your business.
Avoid Scams and Price Gouging
Unfortunately, after times of tragedy, people attempt to scam those affected or impersonate legitimate officials. Some good guidelines:
- FEMA inspectors will carry identification and will not ask for money
- Get repair information in writing, and be wary of contractors who show up at your door
- Don’t be pressured into buying
- Never pay in full up front
Report all scams to S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs: 1-800-922-1594.
Businesses and individuals are eligible for some tax relief from the IRS. If your family or business had an October 15, 2015, tax-return filing deadline, you are automatically granted an extension until February of next year.
If your family or business had an October 1, 2015, deadline for payments to the IRS, you now have until October 16, 2015, to make payments without any penalty.
Other available relief includes claiming disaster-related losses on income tax returns, and waived fees when requesting past tax returns.
If you have any questions about the tax relief available to you, please contact the IRS disaster hotline at: 1-866-562-5227.
Our community has been tested, yet we have so many blessings in our first responders, state employees, and countless volunteers. Please contact us if we can answer questions, direct you to appropriate resources, or assist in any way possible.
God Bless South Carolina.