AUSTIN, Texas – Homeowners and renters who sustained property damage as a result of the recent fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.
The April 19 emergency disaster declaration for the state of Texas has been expanded to allow eligible individuals and households affected by the explosion in McLennan County access to Individual Assistance grants.
“FEMA wants to help West residents get back on their feet as soon as possible,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) Kevin Hannes. “There are three easy ways to register and it is the first step to receiving federal aid.”
Homeowners and renters can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 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.
McLennan County residents 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.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
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. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.