COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can now apply for federal disaster assistance.

It comes after President Joe Biden declared that a disaster exists in the state because of the hurricane, which lashed the South Carolina coast at the end of September.

Gov. McMaster sent a letter to the president earlier this month requesting a ‘Presidential Disaster Declaration’ to help in local recovery efforts following the storm.

At the time, damage assessments conducted by state, local, and federal agencies revealed that 17 homes were destroyed, 232 homes experienced major damage, and 82 homes experienced minor damage. Officials determined the storm had cost state and local agencies more than $25 million.

Eligible residents who suffered damage in Charleston, Georgetown, and Horry counties can register for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to Governor Henry McMaster’s office, FEMA Individual Assistance can help residents with eligible storm-related costs not covered by insurance. “Please note that prior to receiving Federal financial assistance, any insurance benefits must be exhausted to avoid duplication of benefits,” the governor’s office said.

Residents can apply for disaster funding in one of three ways:

  • Online by logging onto DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Online by downloading the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download the app, visit: fema.gov/mobile-app or your phone’s app store.
  • Call 800-621-3362. Residents who are Deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Language translators also are available.

Toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Meanwhile, President Biden also approved federal aid to supplement state and local agency recovery efforts in the following seven counties: Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, and Williamsburg counties.

“Under the FEMA Public Assistance Program, state agencies, affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the approved costs under certain categories such as emergency measures, debris removal and road repair related to the storm,” Gov. McMaster’s office explained.

The remaining 25 percent non-federal share will be paid through state funds for state and local government agencies but will be the responsibility of the applicant for non-profit organizations, including electric cooperatives.