While the strength of Hurricane Florence was formidable, it — like other natural disasters — eventually came to an end. After the skies cleared, the risk of extreme flooding subsided, and waters began to recede, a stronger presence engulfed our communities — the unbeatable trait North Carolinians possess to dust ourselves off, turn to our neighbors and pick each other up. As Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” And that’s exactly what we did.
As I visited every county in our district following the storm, I saw this verse embodied in each and every person I met. It’s been truly incredible. By the same token, I’m working with my colleagues in the North and South Carolina Congressional delegations to make sure we have the federal resources we need for disaster relief. This isn’t a partisan issue, and I’m pleased to see folks on both sides of the aisle work together to rebuild our state. I’m proud to continue to work with a Republican president, a Democrat governor, and a bipartisan delegation of members of Congress to get this done.
Since the storm hit, your representatives in Congress have stayed in contact through telephone conference calls and have met in person several times last week to discuss recovery efforts and priorities in securing federal assistance for our state. We talked about the immediate need for housing, infrastructure funding and helping our farmers. And we also discussed the long-term efforts to rebuild homes, businesses, roads and sewers that were damaged or destroyed.
In an effort to jumpstart the rebuilding process, the House passed billions of dollars in targeted disaster relief funding last week to aid North Carolina’s recovery. First, we passed the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 302) which included $1.68 billion in disaster relief funding for the Carolinas. This was in addition to the nearly $9 billion we passed and President Trump signed into law last Friday in FEMA funding to help victims of Hurricane Florence.
As I’ve always said, I am working to ensure our government is a good, responsible steward of your tax dollars. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to make sure we are accurately assessing the damage and that recovery money is going to people who need the help and it isn’t being wasted by the bureaucracy.
We also passed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA) which will help communities better prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against disasters of all types. In particular, DRRA increases focus on predisaster preparations so we reduce the devastation of future hurricanes.
Further, I want to make sure you are aware of the resources that are available to you now. Residents in Cumberland, Hoke and Moore counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance through DisasterAssitance.gov. For more information please visit my website: https://hudson.house.gov/emergency-storm-preparedness/.