Storm Survivors in Texas Encouraged to Register for Disaster Assistance

AUSTIN, November 30, 2015 – Texans who sustained damage or losses from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred Oct. 22 through Oct. 31 can now register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The presidential disaster declaration of Nov. 25 makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in 15 counties: Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson.

Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Applicants will be asked for the following information:

Social Security number
Address of the damaged primary residence
Description of the damage
Information about insurance coverage
A current contact telephone number
An address where they can receive mail
Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds

Disaster assistance for homeowners and renters may include grants to help pay for:

Temporary housing
Essential home repairs
Uninsured and underinsured personal property losses
Other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries.

FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.

Survivors should register even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims have been settled.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if a survivor has registered with another disaster-relief organization, such as the American Red Cross, or received federal disaster assistance as a result of a previous disaster.

For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4245, Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website, https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.

 

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