AUSTIN, Texas -- Almost four months since a Sept. 9 major disaster declaration for the Texas wildfires, assistance to survivors and affected communities is at nearly $36 million, recovery officials said Thursday. Of the total, more than $13 million is in state and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recovery grants for Texans and their families.
The $13 million includes $10.7 million in rental assistance and grants to repair and rebuild homes, as well as $2.5 million for other disaster-related needs such as personal property, medical care and funeral expenses. More than $77,900 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance has gone to workers or the self-employed who lost their jobs or have been unable to work due to the disaster.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $19 million in low-interest disaster loans for 175 homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes affected by the wildfires.
“Wildfire-affected Texans have worked diligently to get past this disaster and we are working hard to expedite assistance dollars in order to support their efforts,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes of FEMA.
In addition to Individual Assistance, more than $3 million has been obligated to the state under FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program, whose applicants include the state and its agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.
Eligible applicants in 31 Texas counties can apply for FEMA PA reimbursements for the cost of removing wildfire-related debris from public rights of way, for measures taken to protect lives and property before, during and after the blazes, and to help defray the cost of repairing infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the wildfires.
Since the disaster declaration, 4,070 wildfire survivors registered with FEMA across the 23 counties designated for Individual Assistance. The registration deadline is Jan. 6.
Texas homeowners, renters and business owners can still 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. 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.