Winter storm resources
- Texas homeowners and renters in the 126 counties* designated for disaster assistance who suffered damage from February’s severe winter storms now have until Thursday, May 20, 2021, to register for disaster assistance with FEMA and apply to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
- The fastest and easiest way to apply to FEMA is by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free phone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT, daily. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should provide FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
- Texans who registered for FEMA assistance after February’s winter storms may have received a determination letter regarding eligibility. Read the letter carefully. It may not be the final answer. FEMA may simply need extra documents to process your application. Every applicant may appeal and ask FEMA to review your case. Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Reasons why you may be determined ineligible or no decision can be made include:
- Ownership of property not proven
- No contact information provided to schedule an inspection.
- Failed identity verification.
- Insured or ineligible insured.
- Survivors who may have received FEMA disaster funds after February’s winter storms are reminded that it’s important to use the money only for disaster-related expenses. FEMA will send a determination letter with details on what the money is being awarded and a list of ways the money can be used. Some examples include home repairs and rental assistance.
- Texas residents whose furnaces, septic systems or wells were damaged by February’s severe winter storms may be eligible for financial assistance under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. If denied assistance, applicants may appeal. For private wells, furnaces, and septic systems, FEMA may provide assistance or reimbursement for the cost of a professional, licensed technician’s estimate of the repair or replacement of these items.
§ Renters in the 126 Texas counties* designated for disaster assistance for the severe winter storms may be eligible for help from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
o Rental assistance may be awarded to those forced from their damaged home; the assistance is to be used for security deposits, rent and the cost of essential utilities.
o The initial rental award is for two months and may be reviewed for more assistance.
o Renters may also qualify for FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Program to replace or repair necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothes and school textbooks or supplies.
*Designated Counties: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Bosque, Bowie, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Deval, Eastland, Ector, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzalez, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Howard, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kleberg, Lavaca, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Llano, Lubbock, Medina, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wichita, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Wise and Wood.
FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE
Texas homeowners and renters who sustained damage in the counties designated for individual assistance including Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Navarro and Robertson counties may now apply for disaster assistance with FEMA. If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance. The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.
If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:
· A current phone number where you can be contacted
· Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
· Your Social Security number, if available
· A general list of damage and losses
· If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name
If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair. Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Note: FEMA cannot reimburse you for food lost due to a power failure. However, voluntary organizations in your community may be able to help. You can also call 211 for assistance.
The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development is offering federal disaster assistance to homeowners and homebuyers affected by the winter storm in Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone, McLennan, Milam and Navarro counties including immediate foreclosure relief, mortgage insurance, making insurance available for mortgages and home rehabilitation, ensuring HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are ready to assist, and making information on housing providers and HUD programs available.
Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to residents in the counties designated for individual assistance including Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Navarro and Robertson counties. The Small Business Administration has established a Virtual Business Recovery Center to assist business owners and a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to provide help to homeowners and renters. The centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday:
(800) 659-2955/TTY: 800-877-8339
Or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a disaster designation for 23 counties in response to severe winter weather that has impacted the state including McLennan, Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Hill, and Limestone counties in Central Texas. This designation makes federal assistance, such as emergency loans, available to agricultural producers who have suffered losses in designated counties, as well as in counties that are contiguous to a designated county.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will automatically provide replacement benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in impacted counties including Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Navarro and Robertson counties in Central Texas for food lost or destroyed due to winter storm Uri, which began on Feb. 11. Residents of those counties do not need to take any action for automatic replacement benefits. Residents of Saba Saba county are eligible to receive automatic partial replacement. Texans who do not live in one of the eligible counties have until March 31 to report SNAP food loss and request replacement benefits. SNAP recipients in these counties must apply for replacement benefits. SNAP recipients in the 66 counties can also report other food loss and request additional benefits until March 31. HHSC is encouraging SNAP clients to request their replacement food benefits by calling 211 and pressing option 2. Alternately, recipients can download Form H1855 (Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits) on the HHSC website. Recipients are encouraged to mail or fax the completed form to HHSC instead of visiting their local offices. Completed forms should be mailed to Texas Health and Human Services Commission, PO Box 149027, Austin, TX, 78714-9027, or faxed to 1-877-447-2839. For more information, please visit hhs.texas.gov. To check benefit amounts deposited on a card, SNAP recipients with an online account can visit YourTexasBenefits.com, or they can call the Lone Star Help Desk at 800-777-7328.
TEXAS INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE REPORTING TOOL (Helps Texas Dept. of Emergency Management assess damages)
The Texas Attorney General’s Office recommends consumers turn off autopay on their utility bills and review each bill before paying it. If you’re having trouble reading or understanding your bill, you can get assistance from the Office of Public Utility Counsel. You may file a complaint online with the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Price-gougers may be required to reimburse consumers and may be held liable for civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation with an additional penalty of up to $250,000 if the affected consumers are elderly. More information about the consumer complaint process is available online.
Atmos Energy offers installment plans to spread out payments over time. You can set one up online. Log into Atmos Energy Account Center and select the Payment Assistance tab. You may also call 888-286-6700 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
TEMPLE The City of Temple has created the Temple Recovery Task Force to connect residents with available resources in the wake of the historic storm. The taskforce will use Crisis Cleanup, a free website that helps coordinate relief efforts by participating organizations, including services such as debris removal, home repair and water damage repair at no charge (It does not provide resources that require a licensed or skilled tradesman, such as plumbing or electrical work). Requests can be submitted through the City of Temple’s Housing Resource Center by calling 254-298-5999 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A list of local contractors who may be able to help with more complex repairs is available on the City’s website at //templetx.gov/weather. The City doesn’t endorse these organizations but is simply providing contact information for ease in finding assistance.
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