AUSTIN, Texas – At the request of the state of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has activated Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) for eligible residents of West, Texas. The program allows individuals whose homes have been severely damaged or destroyed to stay in a hotel or motel for a limited time. FEMA will pay the cost of the room and taxes directly to the hotel. Eligible applicants are being notified by phone and calls are already in progress.
“Transitional Sheltering Assistance offers disaster survivors temporary accommodations until other housing options can be identified and put in place,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes. “We are working closely with our state and local partners to develop a long-term housing solution to help West residents until their homes are repaired or rebuilt.”
To be eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance, West residents must meet the following criteria:
1. The applicant must be displaced from their primary residence;
2. The primary residence must be in the zip code (76691) that has been designated for TSA;
3. The primary residence must be unlivable due to damage or lack of power or water;
4. FEMA must be able to verify the applicant’s identity; and
5. FEMA must be able to verify the applicant’s occupancy of the damaged dwelling.
The initial period of assistance is from May 5 through May 18, 2013. Meals, telephone calls and other incidental charges are not covered, and applicants are responsible for any lodging costs above the authorized allowance. The program does not reimburse previously incurred hotel expenses.
The amended April 19 emergency declaration makes federal assistance available to eligible survivors in McLennan County. The first step for those affected by the fertilizer plant explosion is to register for FEMA assistance online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or via smart phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants without internet access or smart phone may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week.
Residents registering by phone or online will be asked to identify the description of damages sustained and must select the “EXPLOSION” option. Residents will then be asked to identify the type of damage and must select the “FIRE/SMOKE/SOOT/ASH” option. (Do NOT select the “other” option).
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 www.twitter.com/femaregion6, and our FEMA Region 6 website at www.fema.gov/region-vi/region-6-preparedness.