FEMA Assistance Available to More Texas Survivors

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
May 22, 2024

AUSTIN – Eastland, Hardin, Jasper, Jones, Lamar and Waller counties have been added to the major disaster declaration for Texans who sustained damage from severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding that began April 26.

Residents of these counties may be eligible for disaster assistance under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. Eligible applicants may qualify for serious needs assistance, basic home repairs, personal property losses and other eligible expenses related to storm damage. Previously survivors in Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker counties were approved for assistance to individuals and households. Additional counties may be added later.

FEMA’s disaster assistance offers benefits that provide flexible funding directly to survivors when needed the most. In addition, a simplified process and expanded eligibility allows Texans access to a wider range of assistance and funds for serious needs.

Serious Needs and Displacement Assistance

  • Serious Needs Assistance, funds for essential items will now be provided in all disasters receiving Individual Assistance to help people make ends meet.
  • Displacement Assistance, a new benefit that will provide people with up-front funds to assist with immediate housing options of their choice, to keep people housed.

Serious Needs Assistance and Displacement Assistance are both funded after a completed inspection confirms eligibility.

Apply to FEMA
Survivors can apply to FEMA in several ways including online at DisasterAssistance.gov, downloading the FEMA App for mobile devices, or calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Calls are accepted every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT. Help is available in most languages. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service. To view an accessible video about how to apply visit: Three Ways to Register for FEMA Disaster Assistance - YouTube.

Additional Assistance and Benefits

  • Streamlined Application Requirements so people can apply to SBA and FEMA at the same.
    • Support for Underinsured People for the first time to help them cover aspects of home repair that insurance companies won’t pay for, but they can’t afford on their own.
  • Simplified Assistance for Entrepreneurs by providing self-employed people with some initial financial support to replace disaster-damaged tools and equipment to help them land on their feet.
    • Ex.: computers if you are a gig worker, lawnmower if you are a landscaper
  • Expanded Habitability Criteria to help people make their homes safer and cleaner post-disaster and so they can repair all aspects of their home post-disaster.
    • Previously, if a home had a leaky roof pre-disaster, that area of the home wouldn’t qualify.
  • Made Accessibility Improvements to help people with disabilities improve their living conditions by making their homes even more accessible than they were pre-disaster.
  • Streamlined Temporary Housing Assistance Applications by reducing documentation requirements for applicants who need to extend their stay in FEMA-supported temporary housing.
  • Simplified the Process for Appeals so people who wish to appeal FEMA’s decisions will no longer need to provide a signed, written appeal letter to accompany the supporting documentation.
  • Computer Assistance for people who need to repair or replace disaster-damaged computers.

Rental Assistance for Temporary Housing

If you currently reside in Eastland, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker and Waller counties and suffered damage to your primary residence, FEMA may be able to provide rent for a temporary place to live while you are displaced. Rental assistance is intended to cover monthly rent, security deposit and cost of essential utilities such as electricity and water.

Major Repairs and Out-of-Pocket Expenses

FEMA’s Individuals and Household Program assistance is intended to help jumpstart your recovery. Here are some examples of basic needs:

  • Home Repair Assistance may be provided to homeowners to repair the structural parts of your home. This includes windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system (HVAC), utilities (electrical, plumbing and gas systems) and entrance ways. FEMA may also reimburse for the actual cost to repair or replace your furnace, private well and septic system that was damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

For the latest information visit fema.gov/disaster/4781. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/

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