AUSTIN, Texas -- Texans who experienced property damage or personal loss as a result of the wildfires and called Texas’ 2-1-1 line must still register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to apply for federal disaster assistance. Registering with 2-1-1, the Red Cross or other voluntary agencies does not register survivors with FEMA. The phone number to register with FEMA is 1-800-621-3362.
"Many Texans mistakenly believe that calling 2-1-1 registers them for federal assistance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes of FEMA. "We’re here to offer assistance to eligible wildfire survivors, and registering with FEMA is the key in helping us to help them."
Homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or by telephone via FEMA’s toll-free numbers: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Assistants are available by phone from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The application process is simple, but key, because FEMA may provide assistance that can address a survivor’s specific needs. Here are a few helpful reminders:
- If you have insurance, contact your agent before registering with FEMA.
- When you call FEMA, you will need your Social Security number, your current mailing address, the address of the damaged property, a phone number where you can be reached, a brief description of the damages and any insurance information, including the policy number and the name of your agent.
- Fill out and return your low-interest loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration, if you receive one. Returning the application does not obligate you to accept the loan, but it is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance.
Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs or other serious disaster-related expenses, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs, not covered by insurance or other sources.
The counties designated for assistance under the major disaster declaration for wildfires that occurred on or after Aug. 30 are Anderson, Bastrop, Caldwell, Cass, Colorado, Fayette, Gregg, Grimes, Harrison, Henderson, Hill, Houston, Leon, Marion, Montgomery, Rusk, Smith, Travis, Upshur, Walker, Waller and Williamson.
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.