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Division of Human Resources

Flood Disaster Resources for Employees

University faculty and staff who have been impacted by the recent flooding have access to many resources to help in their recovery. Below are several resources offered either through the university or through a number of community organizations. 

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Division of Human Resources at 803-777-3824. 

CARE Hotline
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and the City of Columbia have created the Columbia Area Recovery Effort (CARE) hotline for anyone needing assistance to recover from the flood. People can call if they're having trouble finding a place to live, a ride to work or have insurance and legal questions that need answer—or any other problems related to the storm aftermath. 

The hotline is open Monday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you need any assistance or have any questions, please call 866-272-1976.

Disaster Relief
The State of South Carolina received a major federal disaster declaration which means that families can receive individual assistance for temporary housing assistance, repair assistance, replacement assistance and permanent or semi-permanent construction.

Flood victims are encouraged to begin the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) application process by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or going to Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing should call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). Those persons who use Video Relay Service may call 1-800-621-3362.

If you need help with your FEMA application or other disaster assistance, please visit one of the Disaster Recovery Centers from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Insurance Claims Assistance
Contact your insurance company to report flood insurance claims. Document the damage to your home, vehicle and property with photos and video. As you begin the clean-up and recovery process, keep all receipts. This may help you with your disaster assistance claims. For additional resources on processing insurance claims, please contact the South Carolina Department of Insurance at 803-737-6180. 

Legal Assistance
The South Carolina Bar will provide free legal assistance for flood victims in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg counties. Call 1-877-797-2227, Ext. 120 (toll free), (803) 576-3815 (local) or email for assistance. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  

Nutrition Assistance
Any household that resided within one of the designated counties at the time of the flooding and suffered unreimbursed losses may be eligible to receive temporary Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (DSNAP). Visit the S.C. Department of Social Services for more information. 

Employee Assistance Program
The university's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has many resources available to permanent employees and their dependents to support them in their time of need. Some of these resources include free counseling, legal access services and financial services. Please contact Deer Oaks by calling 1-866-327-2400, or log into using the username and password USC.

Other Community Resources
The American Red Cross provides first aid medical treatment, food, shelter and counseling services. For more information, please call 1-800-REDCROSS x5 (800-733-2767) or 803-540-1200. For a list of local shelters, please search the American Red Cross website.

United Way of the Midlands can answer questions on where to get help with rent/utility assistance, food banks, physical/mental health care, employment support, services for elderly and disabled individuals, child care resources and referral and more. Dial 211 for assistance.

The Harvest Hope Food Bank has Emergency Food Pantries at three locations. These pantries provide those in need with a 5 to 6-day supply of food, information on resources available in the community and assist people with filling out Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) applications through the SC Benefit Bank.

The Salvation Army provides first aid medical treatment, food assistance and clothing assistance. For more information, please call 803-765-0260.

South Carolina Baptist Convention Disaster Relief provides food assistance, shelter, counseling services and damage recovery services. For more information, please call 803-227-6149.

The Cooperative Ministry provides emergency assistance to those in crisis. Please call 803-799-3853 for more information. is a free service to support relief efforts for flood victims in our community. This site seeks to connect donors of goods and services with South Carolina flood victims in need.  

Hundreds of State roads continue to be either impassable or have severe damage. For current road conditions, contact the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) at 1-855-467-2368 between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. or check the real-time road conditions.

Returning Home
Preparing to return home after an evacuation will keep you safe while you are inspecting and cleaning up the damage to your home. Use this checklist [pdf], provided by the American Red Cross, for suggestions on returning, inspecting and cleaning your home.

Debris and Trash Pickup
The SCDOT has begun picking up flood-related debris. This debris is separate from regular household garbage and recyclables that go in the normal roll carts. Governor Haley and FEMA officials urge residents to properly separate the debris into six categories [pdf]. For more information, please call SCDOT at 855-467-2368.

Flood Repair Assistance
The City of Columbia's floodplain office will be temporarily located in the Customer Service Lobby of the first floor of 1136 Washington Street. Staff will provide walk-up assistance to anyone needing to start flood repair work in the city. This service is available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For more information, please visit the City of Columbia website

Free Tetanus Vaccinations
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reminds all storm victims that a tetanus vaccination is recommended if it has been 10 years or more since your last vaccination or if you have experienced an injury and your shot is more than five years old. Please visit the DHEC website for a list of no-cost Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination clinics or call 1-800-868-0404. 

Faculty and Staff Information for Campus Reopening
As the University of South Carolina begins the recovery process from the devastating floods that affected Columbia and the surrounding areas, the Office of the Provost, in conjunction with the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support, have compiled important information for faculty and staff to prepare for students returning to class.

Hazardous Weather and Emergency Leave
Governor Haley issued Executive Order (2015-27) [pdf], granting leave with pay for State employees for their absences from work during the week of October 5 through October 12. Employees who earn annual leave should follow the instructions for entering leave and time worked for that week. For more information about hazardous weather and emergency leave, contact the HR representative in your department or refer to the Human Resources website.   

Posted October 7, 2015
Updated December 7, 2015


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