Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Program

North Carolina, United States

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence—a Category 1 storm that displaced residents with significant flooding and destruction—the state of North Carolina received a federal disaster declaration making funding available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs. FEMA entered into an agreement with North Carolina Emergency Management to implement a STEP program for qualified homeowners and determined more than 16,000 applicants across 12 counties were eligible for assistance under this program.

AECOM and its partnering firms managed a program to provide temporary housing recovery efforts, including critical repairs and power restoration to allow residents to shelter in their own homes safely and securely. The team established a call center, toll-free number to contact homeowners and advise them of the program. Leveraging disaster case managers, recovery center staff, and field inspection staff, AECOM worked with the state on community outreach efforts to increase public awareness of the program and its benefits. Outreach was extended to more than 14,000 residents including extensive door-to-door, phone, and mailing efforts, as well as the establishment of a website for eligible applicants to access, download, and upload necessary forms.

Under the program, AECOM:

  • Managed the temporary repair of 2,300+ homes.
  • Coordinated work across 200+ field crews from a pool of 13 general contractors.
  • Developed and mailed 14,800+ postcards explaining program to eligible applicants.
  • Developed applicant portal including first-of-its-kind electronic DocuSign capability.