Update Oct. 7, 2021
One month after the federal disaster declaration for Tropical Storm Fred, $10.3 million in federal funds has been provided to North Carolinians to aid in their recovery. Survivors who still need to apply for FEMA assistance have until Nov. 8, 2021 to do so.
Buncombe County residents have received more than $1.62 million in federal funds as of Oct. 6, 2021:
- $392,879 in FEMA grants to homeowners and renters.
- $1.17 million in claims paid to National Flood Insurance Program policyholders.
- $57,500 in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans approved for homeowners, renters and businesses.
Help for survivors in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania includes grants from FEMA, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and claims payments from the National Flood Insurance Program.
“Much work still lies ahead for Western North Carolina, and we want to help all North Carolinians recover quickly and rebuild in a more resilient manner,” said N.C. Emergency Management Director William Ray. “Every impacted resident should make sure they apply with both FEMA and the SBA in order to access available assistance that they need.”
“We are working with the state and the communities to provide all the assistance we can,” said Federal Coordinating Officer John Boyle. “We’ll be here as long as necessary to get the job done.”
Registration is free. Apply at DisasterAssistance.gov, call 800-621-3362, or use the FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
Sept. 8, 2021 Buncombe County Receives Federal Disaster Declaration
On Sept. 8, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden Jr., granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of North Carolina triggering the release of federal funds to help people and communities recover from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred that occurred Aug. 16-18, 2021.
“This federal disaster declaration will help provide assistance for our Buncombe communities that were hit hard by the storm,” said Emergency Services Director Taylor Jones. The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred moved through Buncombe County on Aug. 17. The area experienced the heaviest rainfall in 50 years resulting in devastating flooding and damage to multiple businesses, homes, farmland, and public structures.
Residents and businesses who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing or speech impaired. Individuals may also access assistance via the FEMA app.
Please note that damages previously reported through the Buncombe County Storm Damage Hotline were for damage assessment purposes only, to determine if we met the criteria for a declaration. Anyone seeking FEMA assistance must now apply directly to FEMA. We are still waiting to see if the North Carolina Legislature will appropriate funding to assist with repairs to private culverts and bridges.
SBA Disaster Assistance
U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Assistance is also part of the package authorized with the federal disaster declaration.
Businesses, homeowners, and renters can learn more on the SBA disaster details site and apply for assistance at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov.
Homeowners and renters should pursue the FEMA IA process first, since that assistance is not a loan that needs to be repaid. The SBA low-interest disaster loans can be useful for businesses that don’t qualify for IA or PA, and for homeowners that are insured, but still need additional funding to complete repairs.
Business Recovery Center now open
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today the opening of a Business Recovery Center at the Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College on Thursday, Sept. 16 at noon to assist all businesses and residents with one-on-one assistance in submitting a disaster loan application for remnants of Tropical Storm Fred on Aug. 16-18, 2021.
Physical disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters in the primary counties of Buncombe, Haywood, and Transylvania counties in North Carolina. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses and most nonprofit organizations in the primary counties and in the following adjacent counties: Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Rutherford, Swain and Yancey in North Carolina; Greenville, Oconee and Pickens in South Carolina and Cocke and Sevier in Tennessee.
SBA Business Recovery Center-Haywood County
Haywood Community College
Regional High-Tech Center
112 Industrial Park Drive, Room 3021
Waynesville, NC 28786
Normal Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed: Saturday and Sunday
SBA Business Recovery Center-Buncombe County
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
1465 Sand Hill Road, Suite 1054
Candler, NC 28715
Opens: Thursday, Sept. 16 from noon to 6 p.m.
Normal Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.