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Texas Winter Storms (DR-4586) Rumor Control

Do your part to the stop the spread of rumors by doing three easy things:

  1. Find trusted sources of information.
  2. Share information from trusted sources.
  3. Discourage others from sharing information from unverified sources.

We will share information about current rumors or scams related to Texas winter storms relief on this page. The best information on legitimate sources of help in your area will come from local officials.



RUMOR: FEMA is paying for energy bills for those affected by the Texas winter storm.

FACT: FEMA aid is meant to help with items such as temporary rental, or home repair assistance. Other federal agencies may provide additional support and local charitable organizations may be able to help for a short period. We suggest you contact your local United Way office by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline phone for a referral to a local agency that may be able to help.

Last updated February 22, 2021.


RUMOR: FEMA will pay for insurance deductibles for disaster survivors.

Fact: FEMA provides financial benefits to eligible applicants who are not insured or underinsured, but those benefits occur after an insurance settlement. Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. FEMA can't duplicate benefits from insurance or pay your deductible.

Last updated February 21, 2021.

Food and Housing

Rumor: FEMA is paying for hotels if you dial a number for “Texas Disaster Relief”.

Fact: There is a false phone number being shared on social media and text messages saying FEMA is paying for hotels in Texas due to the recent storm. This is a scam. The best information on legitimate sources of help in your area will come from local officials or the Texas Division of Emergency Management. If you are in one of the designated counties, you may apply for FEMA assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Last updated February 24, 2021.

RUMOR: FEMA is providing $800 in food vouchers for survivors in Texas.

FACT: FEMA is not providing direct food vouchers. We are accepting applications for disaster assistance if you live in one of the 126 designated counties.

Last updated February 20, 2021.


Do not trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information.

  • DHS, FEMA, HHS and CDC staff never charge for disaster assistance. 
  • Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money.
  • Beware of visits, calls or emails from people claiming to be from FEMA asking for your Social Security number, bank account or other sensitive information. Giving out this type of information can lead to identify theft.

The Texas Department of Insurance is warning people to be aware of potential contracting scams as they begin making repairs. They are operating a help line to prevent contractor scams: 800-252-3439.

Last updated March 17, 2021