While the brunt of the storm may have missed us, rainy, windy conditions could last several days, causing flooding, downed trees, and power outages.

 

The threat posed by Hurricane Florence remains extreme, and Virginians should continue to heed the warnings of local officials and emergency personnel. The safety and security of everyone is a top priority for AARP.

Resources

In Virginia, dial 2-1-1 for disaster-related information and to get help with unmet needs.  Also make sure you have the FEMA app on your smartphone.  You can get vital information from FEMA online, as well as the Virginia Office of Emergency Management’s website.

 

You can apply for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. Have hearing loss or difficulty speaking? Call 1-800-462-7585. Use 711 or Video Relay Service? Call 1-800-621-3362.

If you have property damage, contact your local insurance agent or call this FEMA contact line: 1-800-621-3362.

Helping the victims

Hurricane Florence’s effects on the affected regions of Virginia are likely to be long lasting and varied. There are ways to help the victims of the massive storm.  There will be volunteer needs for many months after the disaster – especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.

 

If you are donating money or supplies, make sure the organization is a bonafide charity.  Also, it’s important not to go into flooded areas on your own; always participate in recovery efforts with a group that provides training and guidance.

 

If you want to help the victims of Hurricane Florence through monetary donations or volunteering, these sites have credible information about how you can help:

 

Virginia Department of Emergency Management

 

Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster


The Red Cross

Report Fraud

People affected by Hurricane Florence are urged to report suspicious activity and potential fraud. Local, state and federal officials warn that post-disaster scams often include phony housing inspectors and building contractors, as well as bogus offers of state or federal aid. But it’s important to remember that officials never request money for help and always carry ID badges.

 

Suspicion of scams and fraud can be reported to the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by contacting local law enforcement or the Virginia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963.

 

Another step toward beating con artists is joining the AARP Fraud Watch Network, which is free of charge for everyone – AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages. Sign up by clicking here.