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Grant program opens soon to prepare S.C homes for hurricanes, high winds

Applications for the South Carolina Home Mitigation Grant Program are set to open in a few...
Applications for the South Carolina Home Mitigation Grant Program are set to open in a few weeks, and officials with the South Carolina Department of Insurance are encouraging you to get prepared for the application now as money will be dispersed quickly.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 2:15 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Applications for the South Carolina Home Mitigation Grant Program are set to open in a few weeks, and officials with the South Carolina Department of Insurance are encouraging you to get prepared for the application now as money will be dispersed quickly.

According to Ray Farmer, the director of the SCDOI, the grant funds from this program are designed to help homeowners along the coast retrofit their homes to prepare them for hurricanes and high-wind damage.

Farmer said the grant can be used for things like secondary water barriers, hurricane shutters, bracing gable ends and more.

“The most popular effort is to put on a fortified roof to make it stronger,” Farmer said. “Either the $5,000 or $4,000 grants, they’re not going to build a bunker for you, but it will go a long way in assisting our consumers in preparing for the upcoming hurricane season.”

According to the SCDOI, the amount of money awarded depends on the income of the applicant.

“If you hit certain low income thresholds, you get a straight $5,000 grant,” Farmer said. “If you don’t hit those thresholds, you’re still eligible for a matching grant of up to $4,000.”

Farmer said in total, they award between $2-2.3 million each year. This money is split between two application periods, one that opens July 1 and one that opens in Dec. 1. He encourages everyone to apply in July and again in December if they are not awarded the money in the first round of applications.

According to the SCDOI, retrofitted or strengthened homes reduce the likeliness and intensity of damage from storms, which ultimately results in lower and fewer insurance claims and eventually reduces insurance premiums for state residents.

“For every dollar we spend ahead of time on mitigation efforts, it will save $6 after a storm,” Farmer said. “It certainly makes sense to try and make our homes more resilient, and for floods as well.”

For more detailed instructions on how to apply for the grant, visit the SCDOI’s website.

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