AUSTIN, Texas – Immediately after the fertilizer plant explosion, keeping in touch with family was most important. During the recovery process, West residents who have registered for disaster assistance also need to stay in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“We understand survivors may be staying with friends or family or moving from damaged homes to hotels and other rental properties,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes of FEMA. “But our help can reach survivors only if we know how to contact them.”
This means if residents change their addresses, telephone numbers, bank accounts or insurance information, they also should update that information with FEMA.
If they don’t have accurate contact information on file with FEMA, applicants could miss important correspondence or telephone calls. Without accurate banking information, eligible survivors could miss disaster assistance grants that are sent via direct deposit to accounts.
“If survivors keep us informed,” Hannes said, “we can provide assistance more quickly to those who are eligible.”
Survivors can register online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. They may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Residents can also update their contact information by visiting the Disaster Recovery Center in West, Texas. The center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will remain open until further notice.
Disaster Recovery Center
POINTWEST Bank – Front Entrance
210 N. Roberts Rd.
West, Texas 76691
Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until further notice
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.