McALLEN, Texas -- Local, state and federal recovery programs are moving quickly to help Texans in three counties in need of disaster assistance after Hurricane Dolly swept through sections of the state recently.
Residents with disaster-related loss or damage in Cameron, Hildago and Willacy counties were declared eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance programs under a presidential major disaster declaration.
Aransas, Bexar, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Willacy and Victoria counties were also declared for FEMA's Public Assistance program for Category A, debris removal, and Category B, Emergency Protective Measures. It allows state agencies, local jurisdictions and eligible nonprofit organizations to apply for reimbursement grants.
A two-week snapshot:
A total of 19,565 individuals and households have applied for disaster assistance from FEMA since the declaration of July 24.
To date, FEMA has approved more than $9 million to eligible individuals and households under its Individuals and Households Programs (IHP).
Housing Assistance (HA) accounts for $7.9 million of the IHP total going to eligible homeowners and renters. HA helps pay for rental assistance, temporary lodging and housing repairs.
Other Needs Assistance (ONA) accounts for $1.1 million of the IHP total going to eligible applicants. ONA helps cover personal property loss, medical costs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance to individuals and households.
To date, 2,250 people impacted by the disaster have met with recovery specialists at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) set up throughout hurricane-stricken areas to provide one-to-one help for individuals with disaster-related needs.
Local, state, FEMA, SBA and other federal representatives are present at five DRC locations in the three disaster-declared counties to discuss disaster programs, explain the application process and answer any disaster related questions. If an individual has applied for assistance, a recovery specialist can talk with them about their individual case.
FEMA-contracted housing inspectors have completed more than 6,154 housing inspections to date. Turnaround time from registration to inspection now averages about three to four days.
Applicants should register by calling FEMA toll-free 800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 800-462-7585 and apply. Multilingual operators are available to speak to applicants.? The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice. If applicants have access to a computer they can register for assistance online at www.fema.gov, or at one of the DRCs.
When registering, applicants should have the following information readily available:
- Current and pre-disaster (damaged) address;
- Current telephone numbers;
- Social Security number; and
- Insurance coverage, policy number(s) and agent's name if possible.
Registration takes about 20 minutes and once all essential information is recorded an application number is assigned.
Once registered, an applicant with disaster-related damages can expect to see a FEMA-contracted inspector within a few days to view the damage and file a report. Inspectors do not determine eligibility or set compensation.
SBA's low-interest disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, business of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by disasters.? SBA customer service repres...