AUSTIN, Texas -- On the fifth-month anniversary marking Hurricane Ike's heavy blow to communities along the upper Gulf Coast, Texans are moving forward in their recovery with the help of more than $1.5 billion in federal and state assistance.
The Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), partners in the state's disaster recovery, provide the following summary of assistance approved as of Feb. 12:
- Nearly $495 million in disaster assistance for housing, disaster-related needs and disaster unemployment assistance has been approved for Texans for Hurricane Ike recovery.?
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $560 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes.?
- More than $79 million has been billed for short-term, transitional sheltering in hotels/motels for eligible applicants. Some 3,500 eligible individuals and families are still participating in the program.?
- To date, more than $412 million in public assistance funding has been obligated and sent to the state of Texas for local public infrastructure repair and debris removal costs.
- FEMA has provided temporary manufactured housing for nearly 3,500 applicants or 95 percent of the more than 3,660 applicants eligible for direct housing assistance.
- More than 6,000 Texans are in temporary housing under the Disaster Housing Assistance Program, which is funded by FEMA and administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- More than 20 million cubic yards or 94 percent of eligible debris has been cleared from disaster-affected counties.
- There are currently nine FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers open in affected counties, offering face-to-face assistance. Nearly 154,000 visits have been made to recovery centers.
To apply for disaster assistance, go online to www.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- and hearing-impaired. Feb. 20 is the deadline to register.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and man-made disasters.