FEMA hubs open in Greensboro for tornado victims

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Many in Greensboro have stories just like Darlene Hines-Brown's.

"I got the alert on my phone and then five seconds later it was on us," she said, remembering when the tornado hit. "It just felt like the whole house was shaking."

She can't live in her home because of the damage, she needs money to fix her car, and on top of all that, she has to care for seven grandchildren and her father.

Sometimes, it can be overwhelming, but that's why there are resources to help share the load.

At the Guilford County Department of Social Services on 1203 Maple St., victims of the tornado can get help from the county, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, North Carolina's Department of Emergency Management and the Small Business Administration.

"People have been wonderful, you couldn't ask for anything more in the help that they give you," Hines-Brown said.

Social Services is opening up disaster food stamps over the next five days by looking at eligibility requirements a bit differently. They'll be factoring in how much you need to spend on repairs, along with income.

People need to bring a form of identification, and if you currently are on food stamps, you are not eligible for this program. You can go to the department to talk to social services from:

  • Friday, May 18, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 20, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, May 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

So far, FEMA has already seen 392 people in Guilford County and 35 people in Rockingham County register for assistance, giving out more than $245,000 in aid.

"We have people here who are tested and trained to get people to the other side," FEMA spokesperson Pam Saulsby said.

You can check on your FEMA status or register at the hub on Maple Street. If you need a loan as a homeowner, renter or business, the SBA has you covered.

"The community depends on the businesses, the businesses depend on the residents," said Lauria Dana, with the SBA.

For folks like Hines-Brown who are going through one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives, having these resources working together under one roof is a game changer.

"They take you a step further," she said. "They don't just tell you what they can't do to help you. If they can't help you, they're gonna find a way."

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