AUSTIN, Texas -- Homeowners, renters and business owners in Bastrop County who sustained property damage as a result of the recent wildfires are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.
"We urge you to contact FEMA if you were affected by the wildfire events beginning on Aug. 30 and continuing," said State Coordinating Officer (SCO) Shari Ramirez-MacKay. "As Texas' federal partner in disaster recovery, the FEMA folks are here to help."
The presidential disaster declaration of Sept. 9 makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Bastrop County.
"FEMA wants to help eligible Texans get back on their feet as soon as possible, but we need to hear from them in order to know they need help," said FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) Kevin L. Hannes. "Registration is easy and it is the first step to receiving federal aid."
Homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
Texans should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster-relief organization such as the American Red Cross, or local community or church organization. FEMA registrants must use the name that appears on their Social Security card. Applicants will be asked to provide:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged home or apartment
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where they can get mail
- Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.