AUSTIN, Texas -- Families and individuals who suffered damage from Texas Wildfires have been approved to receive more than $5.5 million in disaster assistance, including grants from the U. S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repair and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. Disaster assistance covers basic needs and does not normally compensate applicants for their entire loss. SBA also offers low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and business owners.
The federal disaster declaration covers 22 counties in Texas: Anderson, Bastrop, Caldwell, Callahan, Cooke, Deaf Smith, Eastland, Erath, Gray, Guadalupe, Hood, Hutchinson, Johnson, Kerr, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Potter, Roberts, Tarrant, Wheeler and Wise.
Recovery Services Summary as of close of business June 8, 2006:
- 516 individuals have registered for Individual Assistance.
- $1,440,985 has been approved through the Individuals and Household Program. Of that, FEMA has provided $752,935 in Individual Assistance and $688,050 in Other Needs Assistance. The State of Texas provided 25 percent, or $172,012, of the Other Needs Assistance.
- $4,149,100 in loans has been approved by the SBA for individuals and businesses affected by the Texas Wildfires. Of that amount, $3,768,500 was approved for home loans and $380,600 for business loans.
- $2,120 has been disbursed in Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Texans who worked in the affected counties and are unemployed as a result of the Texas Wildfires may be eligible for DUA benefits. DUA extends coverage to self-employed people, farm workers and others who are usually ineligible for unemployment benefits.
- 284 home inspections have been requested. Of these, 100 percent have been completed.
- $7.2 million in Public Assistance has been obligated to Texas by FEMA. The funds will be used by the State of Texas to reimburse local governments and agencies for eligible expenses associated with the Texas Wildfires.
Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage from the Texas Wildfires may check the status of their applications by calling the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing-impaired or logging on to www.fema.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.