AUSTIN, Texas – Disasters such as floods and tornadoes commonly result in the loss of important documents. While it can seem like a daunting task, the good news for Texans is that many official papers and vital records are relatively easy to replace.
Survivors of October’s severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding, who have registered and applied for federal disaster assistance, should keep their personal information updated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) throughout the recovery process. Supplying copies of important documentation is a necessary part of registering with FEMA. Applicants should share any change of address, telephone and bank account numbers and insurance information with FEMA to keep that information up to date.
Check the list below to find out where to obtain official copies of your lost or damaged documents.
SNAP Card (Food Stamps):
Birth and death certificates:
Texas Driver License:
Bank Checks, ATM/Debit Cards, or Safe Deposit Boxes:
Credit Cards: Contact the issuing institution:
American Express: 800-992-3404
Discover: 800-347-2683 www.discover.com/credit-cards/help-center/
Master Card: 800-622-7747 www.mastercard.com/cgi-bin/emergserv.cgi
Visa: 800-847-2911 www.usa.visa.com
Credit Reports: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion
Social Security Card:
Fraud alerts or a credit freeze:
Phone: 202-955-0430 or 1-877-487-2778
U.S. Savings Bonds:
Phone: 800-722-2678 or 800-553-2663
Phone: Check with your own insurance agent
Real Estate and Property Records (Mortgage Documents, Deeds, etc.):
Phone: Contact your own agent
Medical and Prescription Records:
Call your own doctor; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.
Replace a Texas Marriage Record or Certificate:
Proof of Address/Residency:
National Archives Records:
Website: General //www.archives.gov/preservation/records-emergency/public.html
Website: Saving family records //www.archives.gov/preservation/disaster-response/guidelines.html
NOTE: FEMA does not endorse any specific products or services.
To prevent further loss of vital documents, place the originals or copies in a sealable plastic bag or other watertight container and secure that container where it is best protected and can easily be located. It is also a good idea to make copies of vital and important documents and mail them to a friend or relative you can trust to keep them safe and retrievable.
Texans in the following counties may register for disaster assistance for damage or losses sustained during the period Oct. 22 to Oct. 31: Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Cameron, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson.
Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362. TTY users should call 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4245, Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website, https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.
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All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).
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.
The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
Visit www.fema.gov/texas-disaster-mitigation for publications and reference material on rebuilding and repairing safer and stronger.