AUSTIN, Texas -- Disaster assistance may be available to Texas farmers and ranchers who have suffered damage or incurred losses as a result of the Texas Wildfires, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM).
"We understand the needs of rural Texans," said Duke Mazurek, state coordinating officer for the GDEM. "Farmers and ranchers are a strong part of many communities. We want to make sure they are aware of the help available to rebuild their homes and recover from the disaster."
Farmers and ranchers who had damage to or loss of their primary residences are urged to call FEMA's toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or ( TTY 1- 800-462-7585 ) to apply for assistance. The number is available daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (CDT) until further notice.
Disaster assistance may include:
- Grants to pay for temporary housing and minor home repairs.
- Grants to pay for serious immediate needs not covered by insurance and other sources.
- Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover uninsured or underinsured losses to their primary residence or business.
Farmers and ranchers are urged to contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA) as soon as possible for emergency assistance.
- Low-interest emergency loans for production loss to crops and physical losses including livestock and farm buildings, such as broiler houses, barns and livestock pens.
- 75 percent cost sharing to rehabilitate farmland by restoring fences.
The USDA Rural Development program also offers grants and loans for home repair or purchase to individuals, as well as assistance for community facilities, utilities or businesses in rural areas.
Contact your local FSA office for information or consult disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.