Texarkana, TX, February 22, 2001 -- Texas residents have until March 9, 2001, to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the wake of the severe winter storms that coated parts of northeast Texas with ice in December and January.
Residents of Bowie, Cass, Fannin, Lamar, Red River and Titus counties are encouraged to call 1--800--462--9029 to register if they suffered damages to their homes, businesses or personal property as a result of the storms that led to a federal disaster declaration on Jan. 8. The average time to complete a registration is about 30 minutes. Applicants are asked to provide basic information such as: social security number, address and phone contact, insurance coverage, and a description of damages incurred as a result of the storm activity between Dec. 12 and Jan. 15.
After applicants have registered, they may call the Helpline for status updates or referrals. The Helpline number is 1--800--525--0321. The registration and Helpline number for speech or hearing impaired is 1--800--462--7585. Registration and Helpline operators are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST from Monday through Saturday.
As of Feb. 19, more than 7,100 Texans have registered for federal assistance. More than 2,626 calls to the Helpline have been taken. Nearly 5,000 housing inspections have taken place and $1.2 million has been disbursed by FEMA to pay for minimal home repairs or alternate housing while major repairs are undertaken. Some funding has provided assistance to remove tree limbs that are health and safety hazards, or that inhibit access to a dwelling.
The Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program has approved $333,768 in funds for serious disaster--related needs. The IFG program is funded by FEMA and administered by the state of Texas on a 75/25 cost--share.
The Small Business Administration has approved disaster loans in the amount of $767,000 thus far.
The Texas Workforce Commission has disbursed $17,017 in disaster employment assistance for this incident. The number to call for disaster unemployment concerns is 1--800--939--6631.