Corpus Christi, TX -- South Texans in 18 disaster designated counties who had losses as a result of Hurricane Claudette are running out of time to register for assistance. Monday, September 15, 2003, is the registration deadline.
Individuals and business owners in those counties who had damages from Hurricane Claudette and who have not registered should call FEMA's toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY: 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired. The lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
So far, 15,291 South Texans have registered for assistance by calling that number.
Assistance totaling $23.8 million has been approved to date, including:
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 635 low-interest disaster loans totaling $6.2 million for repairing or replacing damaged property. SBA urges those who receive application packets to complete the applications and return them quickly. Completing the application is necessary to be eligible for other forms of assistance.
- Disaster Housing Program funds totaling $10.7 million. The program includes assistance for basic housing repairs, short-term rental assistance or reimbursement of hotel/motel expenses.
- Funds for Other Needs Assistance total $6.95 million. This program provides grants to individuals who have disaster-related needs for which disaster loans are not available.
The counties covered by President George W. Bush's July 17 disaster declaration are Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Frio, Galveston, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Live Oak, Matagorda, McMullen, Refugio, Victoria, San Patricio and Zavala.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.