WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners continue a coordinated federal response to Hurricane Harvey, as we move toward helping communities rebuild and recover.
Although there are still some areas in need of response efforts, including some areas in Houston, many survivors across southeast Texas and Louisiana are now returning home. In these areas, FEMA, along with federal, state, local, and tribal partners, is working to support recovery work that includes massive clean-up efforts by communities and individuals.
President Donald J. Trump has made additional disaster assistance available to the state of Texas, specifically authorizing an increase in the level of federal funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures as a result of Hurricane Harvey. The President increased cost sharing to 90 percent federal funding for debris removal, including direct federal assistance, and a 100 percent federal funding for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for 30 days from the start of the incident period, and then a 90 percent federal cost share thereafter.
FEMA continues to urge survivors to register online www.DisasterAssistance.gov as this is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance.
As survivors return home, many may find their homes are uninhabitable or still inaccessible. Short-term housing assistance and other immediate funding is available to eligible survivors who register and may include short-term lodging at eligible hotels and up to two months of expedited rental assistance. When survivors register, they will also receive information on other resources in their area, including available services from other federal agencies.
To help provide accurate information to survivors, FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are now open in Houston, Columbus, La Grange, and Edna, Texas, to support disaster survivors with information and resources. DRCs will continue to open in other locations identified by the state of Texas. Survivors can visit the DRC Locator to find the closest location.
There are also Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSATs) out in the field in key locations, such as shelters, helping survivors who may not be near a DRC. Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are able to register survivors for disaster assistance, update their information, make referrals to community partners, and help address both immediate and emerging needs.
Information and resources are also available in other formats and languages to help all those affected by this disaster, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, find federal resources. Information is also available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
As of September 4, 2017 –
FEMA has provided the following commodities to Texas and Louisiana –
Other Ongoing Federal Efforts:
The American Red Cross (ARC): Sheltering remains the focus of Red Cross operations; overnight 284 Red Cross and partner shelters were open with more than 33,000 people sheltering in Texas. In Louisiana, the Red Cross is assisting the Louisiana state government with emergency shelters, which hosted nearly 1,300 people last night. The ARC still has shelter supplies for more than 85,000 on hand, and fed over 74,000 meals from mobile kitchens yesterday while feeding capacity increases daily. Nearly 3,400 Red Cross responders on the ground with another 460 en route.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is issuing safety alerts and has issued a statement from CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle regarding Hurricane Harvey.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has deployed nearly 450 AmeriCorps members, including FEMA Corps, from across the nation to Texas, and has placed local Senior Corps members with additional members of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team on standby. AmeriCorps members are supporting American Red Cross efforts with shelter and mass care operations, and are providing assistance to FEMA’s logistics and disaster survivor assistance teams. AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams, in coordination with FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management, are organizing the volunteer and donations management process and operations, a critical need based on demand. On the coast, AmeriCorps members have begun the volunteer coordination process to muck and gut homes, registering nearly 700 volunteers in just four days. In addition, CNCS is leveraging its vast network of nonprofits and community organizations to communicate the correct channels for donations and volunteering as well as calling upon the more than one million AmeriCorps alumni – to fill the urgent need for trained shelter managers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing assistance through their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and waiving some regulations to make food more accessible to SNAP recipients, school children, seniors, and people who have fled Texas for other states because of Harvey. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has been working actively with Texas authorities to provide flexibility and access to SNAP benefits. Examples are here, here, and here. Veterinarians from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) are working alongside other organizations, conducting on-site assessments with producers, while APHIS has already helped make 25 tons of pet food available. Nearly 270 USDA U.S. Forest Service staff are in Texas, assisting with disaster response operations.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has stood up three additional Incident Support Bases (ISB) at Fort Hood, Joint Base San Antonio, and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort-Worth, to support forward distribution of supplies and equipment to the affected areas.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has activated its emergency response contact center in response to the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The Department’s K-12 and Higher Education stakeholders who are seeking informational resources should contact the Department toll free at 1-844-348-4082 or by email at HarveyRelief@ed.gov.
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Secretary of Energy has authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to negotiate and execute two emergency exchange agreements with the Phillips 66 Lake Charles Refinery. This decision will authorize a total of 400,000 barrels of sweet crude oil and 600,000 barrels of sour crude oil to be drawn down from SPR’s West Hackberry site and delivered via pipeline to the Phillips 66 refinery. DOE continues to provide situation reports on its website, and has added a page to report gas price gouging.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) activated the Surge Capacity Force (SCF) on August 28, to supplement federal personnel supporting states as they respond to the catastrophic impacts from Hurricane Harvey.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has deployed housing specialists to Texas and is deploying up to 100 additional personnel. HUD teams are currently evaluating damaged subsidized housing in the affected areas and they are developing comprehensive vacancy lists that will assist with relocating some shelter residents. HUD has also released a list of its programs that help following a disaster and is beginning a social media Q&A push specifically targeting homeowners affected by the flood.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has more than 226 employees now deployed to support Texas and local and federal officials through multiple FEMA mission assignments, including mobilizing six 25-member Quick Response Teams (a total of 150 personnel); one is operational in Galveston, another in Houston, and four others are en route to NRG Stadium Houston.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has over 2,000 federal law enforcement personnel deployed to support public safety and security efforts in Southeast Texas consisting of 59 Quick Reaction Teams and 18 Mobile Command Vehicles. 700 Federal Law Enforcement Officers have been approved to support Houston Police Department. In addition, ATF has 225 SRT agents supporting the Houston Fire Department and Houston Police Department.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a summary news release, which can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/opa/opa20170831. The U.S. Department of Labor also created a disaster assistance web page: https://www.dol.gov/general/hurricane-recovery. A total of $30 million in Dislocated Worker Grants have been awarded to the Texas Workforce Commission . A grant for $10 million was awarded on Monday, August 28, 2017, and an additional grant for $20 million was awarded on Thursday, August 31, 2017. The DOL Employment and Training Administration is assisting Texas in administering Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued more than 100 unmanned aircraft system authorizations to drone operators supporting the response and recovery for Hurricane Harvey or covering it as part of the media. The authorizations cover a broad range of activities by local, state and federal officials who are conducting damage assessments of critical infrastructure, homes and businesses to help target, prioritize and expedite recovery activities. Houston Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental are fully operational and back to normal schedules.
The Department of the Treasury has suspended certain tax filing and payment deadlines, as well as certain fuel excise taxes, for those affected. Loans and hardship distributions from employer-sponsored retirement plans have also been authorized, and facilities and personnel have been provided to assist with FEMA’s response efforts. They are encouraging national banks and federal savings associations to work with their customers affected by the storm by reassessing various fees and debt obligations, and we are working to ensure that all federal benefit payments reach those in the affected areas.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has 143 personnel supporting the response efforts for Hurricane Harvey. Working together, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality continue to coordinate with local, state and federal officials to address the human health and environmental impacts of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, especially the water systems in the affected areas.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been monitoring the status of communications networks and coordinating with providers and government partners on communications restoration in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. In addition, the FCC has been releasing daily communications status reports for the impacted areas. On September 2, 2017, the FCC, in coordination with DHS NCC and FEMA, reduced the geographic area for this reporting to thirteen counties. These reports and other FCC resources, including tips for communicating during an emergency, are available on the FCC's Harvey webpage.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has information for people who want to help Hurricane Harvey survivors, and those who are dealing with, and recovering from, the storm’s long-term effects. The FTC warns consumers to be cautious of charity scams, and to do research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the donation as promised. For survivors, the FTC provides a few points to consider in a personal disaster recovery plan.
The General Services Administration’s (GSA) top priority is protecting the life and safety of those in impacted areas. Several federal facilities are temporarily closed but GSA remains fully operational. Information on the status of federal buildings can be found here.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) plants in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana continue to be unaffected by the storm. The NRC has two inspectors onsite at South Texas Project nuclear plant in Bay City, and is closely monitoring the status of radiological materials licensed by the agency located in the three affected states. The agency is using Facebook and Twitter to communicate status updates.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is supporting federal agencies with guidance and tools regarding human resources issues for federal employees adversely affected by the storm. This includes guidance on Human Resources Flexibilities for Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, the authorization of a special solicitation to allow federal employees and military personnel to assist with cash or check donations outside the normal Combined Federal Campaign, and the establishment of an Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP) for federal employees adversely affected by the storm.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that as of Aug. 31, the SBA will offer an automatic 12-month deferment of principal and interest payments for SBA-serviced business loan and disaster loans that are in “regular servicing” status for residents and businesses in the declared counties.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has resumed mail delivery in the Houston area in all locations that are accessible. All major processing infrastructure is up and running so the mail is moving. The USPS Service Alerts Page continues to advise our residential and business customers where they can pick up mail, including mail containing prescription medications, in the event they cannot get to their residence. The Postal Service is at the major shelter locations and visiting all the other shelter locations, assisting with change of address and other services.
USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov continues to support federal agency messaging efforts on their home pages and they’re compiling federal agency updates and messaging on rapidly growing Hurricane Harvey pages found at https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-harvey and https://gobierno.usa.gov/huracan-harvey.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has information for veterans on the Veterans Benefits Administration Loan Guaranty, rapid prosthetic replacement, re-issuance of special adaptive grants (home and vehicle) if destroyed in the disaster, continuation of education benefits and re-routing of pension checks. The VA has deployed four Mobile Vet Centers and three Mobile Medical Units to Houston, offering medical care and counseling services to veterans in the community affected by Hurricane Harvey.
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.
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The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.