Corpus Christi, TX - In the six weeks since President George W. Bush's July 17 disaster declaration 14,774 South Texans have registered for various forms of state and federal assistance. The registration deadline for individuals and business owners is September 15, 2003.
Anyone in the declared counties (Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Frio, Galveston, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Live Oak, Matagorda, McMullen, Refugio, Victoria, San Patricio and Zavala) who had damages from Hurricane Claudette and who has yet to register should call FEMA's toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY: 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired. The lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
"If you had damages from Hurricane Claudette and haven't registered yet, you need to make the call before time runs out," Federal Coordinating Officer Carlos Mitchell said.
State Coordinating Officer Dell Greer added, "We don't want anyone who needs assistance to miss out by not making a phone call in time."
Assistance totaling $21.98 million has been approved to date, including:
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved
557 low-interest disaster loans totaling $5.35 million
for repairing or replacing damaged property. SBA urges those who receive application
packets in the mail or at Disaster Recovery Centers to complete the applications
and return them quickly. Completing the application is necessary to be eligible
for other forms of assistance. If you need help in filling out the application,
SBA Loan Officers are in the Disaster Recovery Centers, and can assist you.
- Disaster Housing Program funds totaling $10.11
million. The program includes assistance for basic housing repairs,
short-term rental assistance or reimbursement of hotel/motel expenses.
- Funds for Other Needs Assistance total $6.52
million. This program provides grants to individuals who have disaster-related
needs for which disaster loans are not available.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available by calling
the Texas Workforce Commission Tele-Center at 1-800-939-6631. The line is
open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The filing deadline for
those in Atascosa, McMullen and Zavala counties is September
3, 2003. The filing deadline for those in Aransas County is September 5, 2003.
- Referral services and short-term intervention counseling
is available for both adults and children affected by Hurricane Claudette.
Crisis counselors are located in all Disaster Recovery Centers. Crisis counseling
assistance is also available by calling these hotline numbers:
Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Refugio and Victoria counties- 1-800-421-8825
Matagorda County- 1-800-633-5686
Aransas, Bee, Live Oak and San Patricio counties- 1-800-841-6467
Brazoria and Galveston counties- 1-800-643-0967
Atascosa, McMullen and Zavala counties- 1-800-543-5750
- The State Bar of Texas provides free legal assistance and
answers to basic legal questions for those in the disaster declared counties.
In addition to answering questions, volunteer lawyers will give referral information
in English and Spanish. The number to call is 1-800-504-7030.
- The FEMA toll-free...