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FEMA helpline can answer flood survivors questions
Application deadline is Jan. 4
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South Carolina residents affected by October’s storms and historic flooding can get information and answers to questions by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) helpline.

Residents can call the helpline at (800) 621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Survivors who use TTY may call 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. They can also visit www.disasterassistance.gov

FEMA will accept applications for federal disaster assistance until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. Because the actual Jan. 3 deadline falls on a Sunday, the agency will allow flood survivors to register the following business day.

The helpline provides many services. Survivors can use the helpline to:

• Register for federal assistance. Households should register only once.

• Ask questions about FEMA decision letters. 

• Learn how to appeal FEMA decision letters. All applicants may appeal.

• Inquire about the status of a registration. 

• Provide change of address, telephone and bank account numbers and insurance information to avoid disaster assistance processing delays.

• Receive information about FEMA home inspections.

• Get questions answered about federal disaster assistance and the application process.

Applicants should have their nine-digit FEMA registration number and ZIP Code if they want to discuss their application.

Survivors should have the following information before registering: 

• Date of loss

• Social Security number 

• Current mailing address and damaged home address, including ZIP Code

• Telephone numbers 

• Names of household members at the time of the disaster

• Insurance information

• Total gross income for the household

• Bank account numbers if they want to have money deposited directly, if eligible

• Loss descriptions

For the latest information on South Carolina flood recovery, visit scemd.org and fema.gov/disaster/4241.

According to FEMA spokesman Carl Henderson, approximately 1,600 Kershaw County residents have registered for assistance with the agency for approximately $856,300 worth of aid.