Corpus Christi, TX -- The number of Texas counties eligible for both Individual Assistance and Public assistance in the wake of Hurricane Claudette reached 17 Friday afternoon. Federal and state officials said that following a review of damage data, Atascosa and McMullen counties had been added to the list of counties eligible for Individual Assistance. They had previously been designated as eligible for Public Assistance. Zavala County was added for both Individual Assistance and Public Assistance.
Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Frio, Galveston, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Live Oak, Matagorda, Refugio, Victoria and San Patricio counties had previously been designated as eligible for both forms of assistance. All counties are eligible for Public Assistance in all seven categories that include assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair of roads, bridges and public facilities damaged by Hurricane Claudette.
Residents and business owners in the declared counties may apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs under the July 17 disaster declaration issued by President George W. Bush. Those who had damages from the hurricane may be eligible for assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary disaster expenses not met by other programs.
Individual and business owners in the disaster-designated counties may call the FEMA registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing- impaired. The registration line is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. The application process takes 20 to 30 minutes. Callers will need to provide the following information:
- Current and damaged property address
- Gross family income
- Contact telephone numbers
- Insurance information
- A general list of damages and losses
- Social Security number
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.