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Hurricane Florence Update & Resources

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Dear Clients and Friends,

As many of you know our region experienced a natural disaster after Hurricane Florence roared onto shore in Wrightsville Beach. We have checked in with your clients and our team and everyone is safe...however some of the property damage in our area is extensive. We wanted to reach out with a list of resources, helpful tips and ways for you to give back. We wanted you to have the most comprehensive list possible, which we have assembled for you from many other businesses, non-profits and government sources. You can also find recommended vendors at the very bottom of this page that we have worked with in the past and are trustworthy. Tell them Lanier Property Group sent you! Please email [email protected] with any resources, fundraisers or opportunities we can add to this page! 

We also want you to know that our area is strong and already working towards a full recovery. Our beloved Port City and beach towns are still beautiful and very soon will be ready for tourist and vacationers to return!

First of all, if you have a specific need or would like to nominate someone to receive support please let us know! We have created a fundraiser with Give Back Homes and all donations are 100% tax deductible and will go to Cape Fear area families in need. Our goal is $10,000 and we are already a quarter of the way there, so please consider joining us! You also can give specifically to our very own agent, Julie Phillips, whose home flooded and 2/3rds of it will have to rebuilt. At the bottom of this page is also a list of churches and organizations ready to help families right now. 

Below is a compilation of ways you may get or give help with recovery. If we can help you in any way please let us know! #capefearstrong

New Hanover County Info

910-798-6500 Public Info Line

910-798-7337 Donation Help Line 


Mortgage Relief

If your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you may be eligible to stop making payments for three to twelve months. If you do not have a mortgage owned by one of these entities, you may still be able to get some sort of deferment or relief from your lender.  Regardless of who owns your loan, call them and ask what they have available and if appropriate proceed to sign up for the appropriate program.

State Aid to Repair or Rebuild Your Home:

  • The state of North Carolina can help with rebuilding or repairing your home. More information is available at rebuild.nc.gov. To apply, go to www.rebuild.nc.gov/apply. You will be required to provide the following:

  • A photo ID and proof of citizenship or legal residency (U.S. passport or green card).

  • Proof that you lived in the damaged home (like a utility bill from the same month the storm hit).

  • Copies of tax returns or pay stubs for all the adults who live in the home.

  • Copies of any payments from insurance companies or other government agencies for damage to the home.

Federal Aid to Repair or Rebuild Your Home:


Private Loan to Rebuild Your Home:

First National Bank we understand these difficult times can be financially challenging too.  To help ease the financial burden we have rolled out some new loan programs for rebuilding homes and lives.  One our new programs is an unsecured loan for up to $25,000 for victims of Hurricane Florence. 

 Alan Efting, NMLS# 93046, 910-232-0253, [email protected]

Taxes & Business Owner Resources 

For those located in the federal declared disaster zone, the IRS has extended the following items until January 31st, 2019:

●        S Corporation, C Corporation, Partnership, and Individual Income tax returns that were previously extended.

●        Quarterly estimated income tax payments due September 17th, 2018.

●        Quarterly payroll tax or excise tax returns due October 31st, 2018.

Penalties on late payroll taxes due between September 7, 2018 and September 24, 2018 will not be penalized as long as deposits are made by September 24, 2018.   North Carolina is making the same waivers except that they are still assessing interest on later quarterly estimated income tax payments.  Since we are in a federally declared disaster area, you may be able to claim damage or loss of property not covered by insurance on your income tax returns.

 Unemployment (Even for Business Owners)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available from the NC Division of Employment Security (NC ESC).   

You may be eligible for DUA if:

●        You are unemployed due to disaster.

●        Self-employed and lost income due to the disaster.

●        Injured due to disaster and unable to work.

●        You became a major income provider due to death from disaster.

●        You can’t reach their job or self-employed business due to travel affected by disaster.

●        You could not start employment during the disaster.

Note that from a timing perspective the NC ESC system will be down from 5PM September 24th through 8 AM Friday September 28th, so try to submit an initial claim starting then.

Resources for Business Owners 

There are several disaster loan options available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other programs.  Some options are:

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has many options for physical and economic disaster situations.

Thread Capital has a 180 day interest-free Hurricane Florence Rapid Recovery Loan.

The Small Business Technology Development Center has a lot of relevant storm recovery loan related information on their website.

Small Business Recovery Guide from the US Chamber of Commerce is also an excellent resource. 

The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce has business information and also volunteer and charity information



***Some insurance companies are reimbursing homeowners for expenses. We are hearing that USAA is one of those insurance companies. Some companies will reimburse you for a portion of your "hardship expenses"  related to the hurricane...such as hotel cost, food costs, gas, supplies etc. Ask your agent or company for more info! 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that following large storms, scammers sometimes target people in the affected areas.  Be cautious about door-to-door offers as well as fliers or business cards that are left in your door. You should never pay for repairs in cash.  Furthermore, contractors may not undertake projects in North Carolina at a cost of $30,000 or more unless they hold a license from the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors.

- Many insurance companies have set up tents and stations at the Home Depot, Lowes and Kohl's parking lots 

If I have storm damage, what should I do?

  • Contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible to arrange a visit from an adjuster.

  • Before doing any repairs to your home, photograph and make a list of the damage.

  • Protect your home from further damage by making temporary repairs only. Save any receipts for materials purchased for temporary repairs.

  • Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected your property, and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.

If you HAVE flood insurance:

  • Contact your insurance agent or company to file a claim.

  • Document your damaged property.

  • File a Proof of Loss with your insurer within 60 days of the flood.

  • Call the NFIP Call Center at 888-379-9531 for questions and assistance.

  • Helpful information and policyholder resources are available on the NFIP Flood Smart website.

If you DON'T have flood insurance:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to apply for individual assistance and explore resources in your area (or visit DisasterAssistance.gov).

How can I avoid being a victim of a scam?

  • Always deal with licensed insurance companies, agents and adjusters. Ask to see identification or call the Department of Insurance to check license status.

  • Do not sign any blank application or claims forms.

  • Don't pay in cash for repairs; keep all your records and proof of payments.

  • Contact the NCDOI Criminal Investigations Division if you suspect someone of running a scam or defrauding the public so they can be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Call 888-680-7684 or visit NCDOI.com/EZ/ReportFraud


Teladoc is offering access to general medical care at no charge for residents of the evacuation zones. To receive care, individuals should call the designated hotline, (855) 756-8708, or visit teladoc.com/Florence for more information.

Family Photo Mini Sessions by Caroline Jean Photography for people who lost their family photos 


To Get Help OR to Volunteer: 

Port City Community Church (Convoy of Hope and Samaritan's Purse) 

Hope Community Church

First Baptist Church

American Red Cross  or call 910-762-2683 to request assistance

Grace United Methodist Church 

Scotts Hill Baptist Church is helping with yard work and putting tarps on homes

The Harrelson Center has a list of URGENT needs as well an amazon wish list for those who are out of town who want to contribute. You can also sign up for working with Catholic Charities for canvasing training via this webpage as well. 

Cape Fear Volunteer Center

 Volunteering and Giving Opportunities: 

United Way of the Cape Fear Area

Samaritan’s Purse

UNCW Emergency Relief Fund

Give Back Homes & Lanier Property Group Fundraiser  

Salvation Army

Vigilant Hope

Good Shepherd Center (List of Critical Needs of food and supplies for Homeless Shelter)

Operation BBQ Relief (Needs Volunteers to serve food ASAP in K-Mart parking lot)

Nourish NC (needs food donations)

Cajun Navy is accepting supplies to distribute at 320 Military Cutoff Road 

Lanier Property Group Recommended Vendors:

Mold & Environmental Concerns

Atlantic Shores Environmental, Cheryl Moody (Owner), 910.371.5980

HVAC Needs

Salt Air Inc., Brooke Skipper (owner), 910-777-3539

Happy Customer, Lee Taylor (owner), (910) 471-0955

Carpet Cleaning

Farris Carpet Cleaning, Kent Farris (Owner), 910-612-3748 

Crawlspace Repairs & Encapsulation Work 

Sahara Crawlspaces  Forest & Elizabeth Tabor (owners), 910-228-6117

Air Duct Cleaning

Kleen Breeze

 Updates from 9/24  Meeting with over 100 non-profit, government, business and faith based leaders. 

- 300 people are still in the Hoggard High School shelter, 50% were homeless before, but 50% of these families are without homes due to homes that they can no longer live in because of the storm.

- The Salvation Army homeless shelter is gone because the entire roof came off. The good news is, Good Shepherd Center has (as of the time of this writing) capacity in the men's shelter, women's shelter and their family rooms. The soup kitchen is open again for breakfast and lunch this week. 

- 2 Large HUD buildings are no longer habitable and those residents need shelter. One was the Cape Fear Apartments which primarily serves low income seniors. 

- FEMA will help coordinate long term recovery committees to help with the long road ahead

- Rob Campbell of New Beginnings Church and President of the Wilmington Ministerial Alliance shared what the 39 pastors in his network are doing in the community. They set up 6 sub-sites in addition to the ones FEMA set up around the city to serve people, and are seeing great need in the urban areas. During the meeting, Rob was able to connect with the Red Cross, and it appears they will be able to work together to provide for those with the greatest needs. Christ Community Church has been focused on the latino community as one of the sub-sites. 

- The Downtown Clergy group is working on coordinating efforts around the downtown area to best meet needs and identify gaps. Rev. Derek Mcleod of St. Andrew's Covenant Presbyterian Church reported on their efforts, which include work with the Harrelson Center. 

- Reports were given by the Red Cross, Salvation Army, WARM (Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry), Good Shepherd Center and many others.  

- Pender County is still split in two from flood waters. What should take 1 hour is taking 2-3 hours in driving time. There is considerable concern within the group for our more rural areas, where it is harder to get help in and out. 

- A shower truck was sent to people in the Edgewood Shelter in Columbus County, as most residents had not had a shower since before the storm. The good folks at WARM were able to work with the Red Cross to make this happen. 

- WARM works with those who need help with complete safety-related, urgent home repairs and accessibility upgrades for low-income homeowners. They were still working on homes damaged from Matthew when Florence came through. They have 180 people already on their waiting list, but will take more. They are working to tackle urgent needs, to get on their waiting list email [email protected]. They also welcome your donations and need volunteers. Visit warmnc.org for more info. 

- The Diaper Bank of NC has truckloads of diapers, adult incontinence products and feminine hygiene products in Durham. They are looking for a local warehouse, as diapers are a desperate need. (In the course of the meeting, a warehouse space may have been found!) If you know of warehouse space or have a box truck they could  borrow to deliver the products to more rural areas please email [email protected]. If your organization needs or relief site needs diapers you can also use the same email to fill out a form and get connected to their services. 

- The Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC is open and ready to help with food needs. They also have volunteer opportunities. 

- The Red Cross specifically wants to remind the group to connect them to the undocumented population, which is often one of the hardest groups to reach in a natural disaster. 

- If it wasn't clear before everyone that we have an Affordable Housing Crisis in Wilmington, it is right now. There are out of town workers and survivors who need shelter. If you know of someone who has a home they can rent, a beach unit available this fall, or ways to help meet this need please reach out to info@@uwcfa.org

- The business community is another important piece to the puzzle (and the reason I was there as a member of the Executive Committee of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce). A scary number of small businesses do not recover from a natural disaster, which is devastating for the community and for jobs . If we don't have enough jobs for people, it is harder to get any part of the recovery process going. The Small Business Administration is opening up offices in our Wilmington Chamber of Commerce building to help business owners get through this time. Their goal is to help small businesses keep their employees, and fight their way back to profitability and ultimately long term sustainability. This is clearly an area I feel super passionate about, and I encourage ANY business owner who is struggling to reach out to me or [email protected] and we will help you! 

- The airport is considering adding a flight from Raleigh to Wilmington until the road conditions get better. They need to show the carriers that we have the demand for this, so if you would use this flight please email me [email protected] and I can pass that info along to our friends at the airport. 

- BB&T announced a significant financial investment in helping the area recover of 1.5 million in grants, which will assist non-profits in delivery front line help to those in need. 

- The bottom line is, if you live in this region you should feel SO PROUD of the work that is being done. There was so much heart AND hustle in that room; I felt a sense of great hope. Your community leaders care so deeply! The room was filled with hugs and tired faces, but also with a resolve to get our region back on her feet; to be #capefearstrong!


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