A week after Florence, FEMA is still having to debunk rumors and hoax stories

National/World News

Members of a FEMA task force search a flooded neighborhood for evacuees during Hurricane Florence.

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A little less than a week since Hurricane Florence made landfall, FEMA is still debunking reports about the hurricane — one rumor at a time.

Last week, the federal agency created its ‘Hurricane Florence Rumor Control‘ and since then, it’s had to shut down false claims about sand bag distribution and service animals.

It’s a tack FEMA has had to take after other disasters as well, including hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

“For every disaster, we opened a rumor-control page to make sure that we centralize information that can be utilized and can be a service to the public,” a FEMA spokesman told CNN. The agency does it, he said, “to make sure correct information gets to the survivors.”

On Tuesday, the emergency management agency debunked a rumor that the Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant in North Carolina was in danger due to nearby flooding.

“Both reactors at Brunswick are safe and stable,” the agency said. “They both have power from the grid and their safety systems are working normally.”

Here are some other false claims FEMA has addressed so far:

Rumor: Service animals are not allowed in shelters

“All service animals are allowed in shelters. Service animals are not pets. Service animals, which are individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability, are authorized to relocate to survivor shelters per the “Pets Evacuation Transportation Standards Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.”

Rumor: Residents in the Carolinas can buy a flood insurance policy now and it’ll cover the water damage from Florence

“It typically takes 30 days from the date an NFIP policy is purchased for it to go into effect.”

Rumor: Beach sand should be used if sandbag distribution sites are out of sand

“Local emergency management in coastal areas is warning residents not to use beach sand for sandbagging. Residents should NOT be heading toward the beach. Also, sand at the beach is a vital barrier, acting as the first line of defense against the storm.”

You can visit FEMA’s Hurricane Florence Rumor Control website here.

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