Wayne County, including Mount Olive, has been under an official state of emergency for nearly two weeks.
Town Manager Charles Brown said that status is somewhat misleading to the general public, and is little more than something necessary for the area to receive federal disaster recovery funds.
“The national and state and local state of emergency is primarily directed at our ability to apply for and get reimbursed for emergency protective measures,” he explained.
Right now, there are two categories under the FEMA guidelines that provide reimbursement under the emergency declaration.
Category A involves reimbursement for tree and debris removal. Category B is emergency protective measures.
Brown said since Mount Olive has joined the county for participation under the state of emergency, the town will eventually seek reimbursement for such expenses as protective gear and sanitizing equipment and materials.
He further explained that the county took official action to ensure that local governments can get reimbursed.
“Right now, the big thing is we have all got to pull together to get through this crisis,” Brown said. “I know it is a scary situation for some folks, but the town is here to help in any way it can.”
He said he wants all residents to know that local authorities are in daily, almost continuous contact with the local Family Medical Center, its personnel, and medical personnel with the county.
Brown added the town will continue to do everything possible to protect its employees and those who may have contact with them.
“We all need to just take a deep breath and realize this is serious, but we will get through it,” he said.