AUSTIN, Texas. -- It's critically important for homeowners, renters and business owners in six Texas counties to register for federal assistance -- even if they are concerned that they may not qualify or they haven't been able to get back to their homes. Officials with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) say residents of the area may be surprised to find they actually DO qualify for assistance.
Officials are encouraging residents in Bastrop, Colorado, Leon, Houston, Travis and Williamson counties to call 1-800-621-3362 even if:
- They have insurance
- Their homes are inaccessible
- They are renters
- They already registered with a state, local or nonprofit organization
- They think they may not be eligible
- They are waiting to see if their homes were damaged
- They only had minor damage
The presidential disaster declaration of Sept. 9 made federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Bastrop County. An amendment on Sept. 9 added Colorado, Houston, Leon, Travis and Williamson counties.
That 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 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.
"Register and let FEMA determine your eligibility," said FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes. "We want to ensure that folks are getting everything they are eligible to receive."
If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. Specialists are available by phone from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time seven days a week.
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.