Hi all!

Got home on the 10 o’clock ferry last night and simply crashed. There wasn’t much to report until I attended the Brunswick County Commissioners’ monthly meeting.

FEMA Updates

The regional FEMA representative was in attendance and was asked about individual claims, business claims, and several FEMA reimbursement issues specifically for the County.

  • DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 13th TO FILE AN APPLICATION. This may be extended, but do not count on it.
  • FEMA may provide a grant for up to $33,000 for flood damage for those with no flood insurance. This is NOT a loan. (It may be counted as taxable income.)
  • For those with flood insurance, a FEMA claim can be filed to cover deductibles and items not covered by the flood policy.
    In order to access possible FEMA help, individuals must submit an application to FEMA in one of three ways.

    • Online at www.disasterassistance.gov
    • By phone at 1.800.621.3362
    • Visiting the Brunswick County Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) office. It is located at Virginia Williams Event Center, Odell Williams Auditorium, 150 College Road, Bolivia, NC (Brunswick Community College).

Important Note: Have your insurance declarations page(s) available. Absence of or misunderstanding about existing insurance is the primary reason applications have been rejected.

DO NOT be discouraged if your initial application is rejected. The majority are. Follow up as described in the denial letter. If grants are not offered, low-interest loans (2% for up to 30 years) may be available. All FEMA loans are processed through the Small Business Administration (SBA), even for individuals.

Also addressed were several debris management issues, one of which affects Bald Head Island. I spoke with Jeff Griffin, Assistant Village Manager, this morning to get several balls rolling to fund Village-wide recovery efforts. Am trying to get our county tax dollars put to work for us.

Temporary Portable Storage Containers= TPSC (Pods, etc.)

TPSC information is available at baldheadassociation.com and in last Friday’sBHA eblast (10.12). I asked about where cluster housing owners could park theirs and whether the Association had considered using a space such as the boat park for storing such units. Because of liability and security issues, parking TPSCs in a storage lot on island isn’t practical or feasible. There are still some storage units available on island. Go online to islandministoragebhi.com to sign up or contact amanda@projectworks.com. Many people signed up for more storage units than they actually needed, so there are some still available.

Reimbursement from Duke Energy and Spectrum

Several islanders asked me today if I had contacted Duke Energy and Spectrum about refunds for service interruptions. Because the pile of papers on my table has barely moved since our return on the 1st, I hadn’t even thought of it. According to my insurance company, my refrigerator and freezer contents will not be covered by them because it was a system-wide interruption, not just something that occurred at my house. It may be possible to get reimbursement from Duke Energy. It will be at least another week before I can attack the paper blob, so if anyone has success with either of these companies, please let your BHBs know.

Donations of Furniture/Furnishings

A permanent resident asked tonight about contacting the Salvation Army to deliver a truck to BHI to collect furniture/furnishings for donation. Certainly, there is a need with so many homes destroyed in Brunswick County and many people starting over.
The Village already has a long-standing association with Hope Harbor Home to which donations of household goods (non-electronics) have been delivered. Receipts are provided to donors. A trailer sits at Public Works for owners to deposit gently used items. Because of the magnitude of impacts from Florence and the numbers of homes affected, I will ask, FOR THIS SITUATION ONLY, if pick-ups can be arranged at owners’ island homes, especially if there are multiple large items to be donated. You should know that this was once how donations were handled, but homes experienced damage and employees suffered injuries. I am not going to hold my breath for a favorable response, especially because all Village employees have been stretched to the limit, but, I will ask. Meanwhile, if anyone is willing to help neighbors transport items to the Hope Harbor Home trailer, located at Public Works, please post your name and contact information.

Damaged Golf Carts

Please hold onto your “dead” golf carts and watch for instructions. The logistics are a bit more complicated than originally anticipated. Island-wide solutions are being sought. Those carts that sat in flood water above a certain level probably cannot be salvaged mechanically. Research is on-going to provide the most economical and environmentally safe means of disposal. Your patience is appreciated.

Updated Contact Information

The Village and Bald Head Association need current and best contact information for property owners. In this disaster many hours were spent trying to reach homeowners whose phone numbers were out of date or disconnected. Many homes’ landline numbers changed this year when customers signed onto Spectrum. Island landline numbers were of little use during Florence’s mandatory evacuation. In the subject line please include “Contact Info Update.”

  • For the Village, please email Gina Hinson at ghinson@villagebhi.org.
  • For Bald Head Association, please contact Diane Mesaris at diane@baldheadassociation.com

The county has a program called CODE RED where property owners can sign up for emergency information from the county. This includes weather advisories for tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, etc., all things about which owners and visitors should be aware. To receive these alerts, please sign up at www.brunswickcountync.gov/codered/.

The Bald Head Island Conservancy annually produces a directory of useful and interesting island information that includes service providers and islanders’ contact information. Local and home physical and mailing addresses, home and cell phones of owners and their families and email addresses are typically included. Please forward your information to amber@bhic.org.

Island Employee Appreciation Luncheon

This annual event hosted by The Old Baldy Foundation allows islanders and businesses to thank the wide range of island employees and service providers who make our island operate so well for us. This year it has been rescheduled to Friday, November 9th, from 12 – 3 pm. Food to serve, donations for food, monetary donations, door prizes and volunteers are all needed. Please help us celebrate the fabulous people who share our love of BHI every single day.