heroic efforts of local government employees across southeastern North Carolina
responding to Hurricanes Florence and Michael and assisting the victims of the storm
captured the attention of the entire nation. Often missing from news stories is
that these same employees – first responders, utility workers, emergency management
officials and others – are suffering significant losses affecting their homes
That’s where Hometown Care comes in –
we want to help city and town workers affected by Hurricane Florence and future
disasters. And we need YOUR help!
Please donate to the Hometown Care Disaster Relief Fund to take care of the municipal
employees who work so hard to take care of us.
Hometown Care Disaster Relief Fund has been createdby the NCLM Local Leadership Foundation to provide personal grants
directly to employees of North Carolina cities and towns who are members of the
NC League of Municipalities. NC local government employees who have suffered significant
uninsured losses from Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael and other natural disasters may apply.
We want to help as many municipal employees as possible who were harmed by NC
disasters. And while we recognize that this effort will not come close to
making up for the sacrifices and losses of these valuable employees, we hope
that it helps. We want to be a part of the Hometown Care they deserve.
As most of you know, the League of Municipalities made the difficult decision to postpone our annual conference, CityVision 2018, scheduled for Sept. 19-21 in Hickory, in the days just before Hurricane Florence struck a devastating blow in southeastern North Carolina. The decision turned out to be the correct one, as we now know that the damage to roughly a quarter of the state made focus on storm response and recovery a much more important priority for both those members affected by the storm and our membership collectively.At the same time, we believe CityVision is critically important in our larger mission to connect you, the League membership, with one another and with ideas that strengthen and make all of towns and cities better places to live for all residents. With that in mind, the League has decided to reschedule and hold our upcoming annual conference May 14-16, 2019 in Hickory. Moving forward, we are committed to holding future annual conferences in this same late April/early May timeframe, permanently shifting the time of year that CityVision is held.These decisions reached by the Executive Committee of the NCLM Board of Directors accomplish a number of aims. One, they ensure that the conference can be held in Hickory, honoring the work that that city's staff had already put into CityVision 2018 and the expectation that the event would be held in a great city with a long history of contributions to North Carolina's economy and a current-day focus of reinvention. Two, we hope that this schedule allows more time for League member cities and towns, to the degree possible, to recover from the tremendous storm and flooding damaging, giving more municipal officials a better opportunity to attend. Three, we believe by moving CityVision to this time of year moving forward that we will be less prone to disruption by tropical storms in the future and that we create a better path to hold conference in more locations in the eastern part of the state, hopefully as early as 2020.Also know that the previously scheduled Advocacy Goals Conference slated for November 29, 2018 in Raleigh will continue forward, and be expanded to provide greater value and support for cities and towns as they deal with ongoing storm-related issues.We look forward to a great CityVision 2019, and are very thankful that logistics allowed us to reschedule in Hickory. We hope you can and will attend. Thank you for your understanding regarding these changes. And finally, for those affected by Hurricane Florence and still dealing with its aftermath, please know that we are here for you, and please be safe.
As the devastating effects of Hurricane Florence continue to be felt across much of southeastern North Carolina, please know that municipalities affected by the storm are in our thoughts. Even as some floodwater have receded, waters in other areas have risen, and we know that this is hampering recovery efforts.
You can find information road closings and other emergency factors at https://www.ncdps.gov/florence . Meanwhile, ReadyNC.org continues to provide the fullest scope of information regarding emergency response, and please remember that your county Emergency Management office is your key point of contact for coordination of emergency response and recovery.
Now that recovery efforts have begun in many areas, it is important to keep in mind that following Federal Emergency Management Agency rules are crucial in order to receive full reimbursements for eligible services that you are providing. This information sheet provides information on rules related to debris removal in order to receive reimbursement by FEMA. This School of Government temporary website also provides a range of recovery-related information, including FEMA rules. The N.C. Division of Emergency Management is also warning local governments that FEMA rules for so-called Direct Administrative Costs cannot be contracted without public bidding unless the contract is under the $10,000 micro-purchasing threshold.
The N.C. Building Inspectors Association, in collaboration with the Office of State Fire Marshal, has set up a response team to assist communities with abnormal inspection load. To make use of this resource, contact your local Emergency Management representative and request assistance from the Disaster Code Enforcement Response Team (DCERT) or find additional information here. It is important to note that state law requires electrical inspections for flooded homes and businesses before electricity can be restored.
If you have been largely unaffected by the storm and wish to provide resources (equipment and personnel) to communities that are dealing with response and recovery efforts, please submit the list of resources to your local County Emergency Management Offices. Doing so, these resources can be uploaded to the N.C. Emergency Management System and then the State Emergency Management staff can direct resources where they are needed in an orderly manner.
Do not hesitate to contact League staff if we can help during this difficult time. Please be safe as you continue doing the important work of response and recovery.
Disasters, Employment and Benefits
Natural disasters like Florence will disrupt the employment of many individuals, while creating more work for both public and private-sector workers responding to the disaster. Here is some employment-related information that we hope you and your residents will find useful.
How to address compensation for employees who cannot report to work because of the storm’s effects.
Employees responding to and on-call for disasters.
For residents who become unemployed due to the storm’s effects, some may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). For more information check out these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and documentation that can assist you with filing your claim. The current counties where the assistance is available are Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender. Additional counties may be added to the DUA availability designation at a later date. More information is available at https://des.nc.gov/DES.
Meanwhile, the NC Department of Health and Human Services has announced more food-purchasing flexibility for those in the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. All those enrolled in all 100 counties will enjoy the ability to purchase hot food, including food prepared for immediate consumption, from authorized Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) retailers using their EBT card. All authorized EBT vendors in the state have been notified about this change, which is effective until Oct. 31. Read the press release.