EL PASO, Texas -- With the deadline just four days away, officials urge Texans who suffered losses due to the severe storms and flooding between July 27 and August 25, to register for assistance now, if they have not already done so. Anyone still waiting on an insurance settlement, contractor's estimate, or any other process is advised to register for assistance regardless of whether this information is available. According to the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Governor's Department of Emergency Management (GDEM), the deadline for registering for aid under President Bush's disaster declaration is Monday, October 16, 2006.
For residents of El Paso County, a variety of aid is available to individuals, families under FEMA's Individual Assistance programs. Included are housing assistance grants for repairs and short-term rentals, , and Other Needs Assistance grants. Low-interest disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Since the August 16th disaster declaration more than $10 Million in federal assistance has been provided and 5,000 El Paso residents have applied with FEMA.
State and federal disaster recovery officials urge those affected and have not applied for assistance to call the Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. The Helpline is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST, Monday through Friday. The deadline to register for assistance is the close of business Monday, October 16, 2006.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Customer Service Representatives are still available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) to assist homeowners, renters and businesses with filing SBA loan applications or to answer questions. The office is located at 7500 Viscount Blvd., Suite 292 and it will be open through 6 p.m. Monday, October 16, 2006. The facility is open today through Saturday and Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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.