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FEMA and State Working Hard to Help People Recover Pulling Together Pays Off, Say Officials

Release date: 
October 28, 1998
Release Number: 

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Help is just a phone call away for people affected by the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that began Oct.17. And Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Texas State Division of Emergency Management (DEM) officials are offering options to the road to recovery.

"Our wish is for people to start putting their lives back together as quickly as possible," said State Coordinating Officer Ed Laundy. "Helping everyone we can, as much as we can is our goal. We can do this best by partnering with those affected by the disaster. Only by pulling together can we get people started on the road to recovery."

People affected by the flooding who need immediate help with clothing, housing, food or other emergency needs can call the American Red Cross or Salvation Army, disaster recovery officials said. Contact the local American Red Cross and Salvation Army offices for details.

Disaster assistance for longer-term needs is available from FEMA, the state and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by calling 1-800-462-9029. Disaster recovery specialists are taking calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. According to officials, evenings are the best time to call the registration number. And they suggest avoiding peak hours of 9 - 11 a.m.

"Everyone affected by this disaster has unique needs and there is a full range of services to help get them back on their feet," said Federal Coordinating Officer Robert E. Hendrix. "Our main goal is to get whatever help they are eligible for to them as quickly as possible."

The type and amount of assistance is determined on a case-by-case basis. This assistance may include:

Help to renters and homeowners whose primary residences were damaged or destroyed, or who face displacement from their homes due to disaster-related income loss. Assistance can include grants for alternate rental housing, money for emergency repairs to make a home livable, and mortgage or rental assistance. This help is administered and funded through FEMA.

Pulling Together Pays Off

  • Low-interest loans from SBA to homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses of all sizes. These loans are based on an applicant's ability to repay and credit worthiness, and are made to repair or replace the disaster-damaged home and personal property, as well as business property. These loans also may provide lost working capital to small businesses. SBA loans are the main source of long-term recovery assistance.

  • Farmers may be eligible to receive SBA disaster loans for damages to their homes and personal property but not for farm production property. Farmers should contact the local Farm Service Agency for information about agricultural losses.

  • Applicants with serious needs that are unmet by insurance, disaster loans or other forms of assistance may be eligible for grants through the Individual and Family Grant Program administered by the state and funded 75 percent by FEMA and 25 percent by the state.

Other disaster assistance may include:

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • Income Tax Advice and Assistance
  • Loans to Farmers, Ranchers or Low-Income Rural Residents
  • Social Security Assistance
  • Veteran's Assistance
  • Emergency Individual and Family Needs through Voluntary Agencies
  • Insurance Information

After calling the registration number, people who need additional disaster-related information, who are having trouble with the paperwork or who want to check the status of their application may visit the disaster recovery...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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