(Photo: Bloomberg)

Even though it hasn’t ended yet, Hurricane Florence has spurred multiple agencies into action to offer relief to affected consumers.

The IRS, for its part, points out that “Hurricane Florence victims in parts of North Carolina and elsewhere have until Jan. 31, 2019, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments,” most of which are normally due in late September.

Any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as qualifying for individual assistance is included, and while so far it’s just parts of North Carolina, “taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area, including those in other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.” The current list of eligible localities, it adds, “is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.”

In addition, taxpayers outside the affected areas whose records are in the affected area, as well as those providing disaster relief, need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, for its part, is monitoring the storm’s effects.

“The SEC is keeping a close eye on the progress of Hurricane Florence and any effects it may have on investors and capital markets. Dedicated staff stand ready to help ensure investors have access to their securities accounts, to evaluate the need to extend deadlines for filings and other regulatory requirements, and to keep a watchful eye for storm-related scams,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton says in a statement.

According to the agency, “SEC divisions and offices that oversee companies, accountants, investment advisers, mutual funds, brokerage firms, transfer agents and other regulated entities and investment professionals” will be keeping an eye out for “the possibility of granting relief from filing deadlines and other regulatory requirements for those affected by the storm.”

And last but certainly not least, the Consumer Federation of America, which anticipates more than $10 billion in insured losses, reminds consumers to get ready to file claims from Hurricane Florence damage and offers suggestions on how to get all that they are fully entitled to from their insurers.

Among their suggestions is the need to report the claim as quickly as possible; keep claim numbers available; save receipts for any expenditures that might be covered, such as repairs, lodging and meals; and to be wary of contractors “offering” to make repairs.

The full list of suggestions is available on the federation’s website.