Hyde sealWednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.  9:17 p.m.

Hyde County officials said today they are working on getting the county declared an “Individual Assistance” disaster county under the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  This designation would help islanders (individuals and businesses) who’ve sustained losses of all kinds of items from Hurricane Matthew to obtain financial compensation.

Hyde County Emergency Services Director Justin Gibbs said that once the county receives this designation, FEMA would set up a disaster recovery center to take applications and help islander with the application process.

Gibbs said he is working as fast as he can to get the designation, but the process is slower than usual because of the post-Matthew issues in the rest of the state.

“We’re in a recovery mode while the rest of the state is in a response mode,” he said. “We’re pressing as fast as we can to make these services available for our citizens.”

He said once the designation is approved and FEMA begins taking applications, turn-around time to receive funds is fairly quick.

In the meantime, islanders who are already receiving Department of Social Services (DSS) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits may qualify for replacements, and if you do not receive benefits, you may apply for regular Food a Nutrition Services benefits with a 30-day processing time frame.

The department will be on the island tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 13) from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 8 to 11 a.m. Friday (Oct. 14) in the Ocracoke Community to help with this process.

The following information about food loss from Hurricane Matthew is from the DSS:


A FNS unit is entitled to a replacement of benefits when food purchased with FNS is destroyed in a household misfortune (such as, but not limited to, a power outage or mechanical failure) or disaster (such as, but not limited to, a fire or flood). The FNS unit may be eligible to receive a replacement of the actual value of the loss, not to exceed one month’s allotment for the FNS unit.

  1. The loss must be reported (verbally or in writing) within 10 calendar days of the
  2. The FNS unit must complete a DSS-1678, Replacement Affidavit, within 10 calendar days of the
    1. The DSS-1678 must include the household’s actual amount of food loss that was purchased with FNS.
    2. Do not issue a replacement if the agency does not receive the DSS-1678 within 10 calendar days from the date the report is
    3. If the tenth day falls on a weekend or holiday, and the DSS-1678 is received the day after the weekend or holiday, consider the statement to be received
  3. Replace benefits within 10 calendar days of the report or within two days of receiving the DSS-1678, whichever is
  4. Deny or delay replacement issuances when there is documentary evidence that indicates the FNS unit’s request for replacement appears to be
  5. There are no limits on the number of times a replacement may be issued to a FNS unit.

NOTE: Food in a full freezer is safe for about two days without power (A half-full freezer is safe for one day). Food that still contains ice crystals can be refrozen safely. Some refrigerated food should be discarded if kept above 40 degrees for more than two hours. These foods include raw or cooked meat, poultry, or seafood; milk/cream, yogurt, soft cheese; cooked pasta, pasta salads; custard, chiffon, or cheese pies; fresh eggs, egg substitutes; meat or cheese-topped pizza, luncheon meats; casseroles, stew, or soups; mayonnaise, tartar sauce and creamy dressing; refrigerated cookie dough; and cream-filled pies.

If the United States Department of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration and the FNS unit is eligible for disaster FNS, the FNS unit cannot receive both the disaster allotment and a replacement allotment for destroyed food.

In addition, please contact Hyde DSS at 252-926-4476 for more information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

For Ocracoke news, click here.

Tideland EMC crews continue Wednesday making electrical repairs on Ocracoke. Photo: C. Leinbach
Tideland EMC crews continue Wednesday making electrical repairs on Ocracoke. Photo: C. Leinbach
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