Home News Local News FEMA Assistance Now Available in Houston, Anderson Counties

FEMA Assistance Now Available in Houston, Anderson Counties

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By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – While the snow and ice have melted from last week’s winter storms, the damages left behind by the deep freeze are still be calculated.

After receiving Governor Greg Abbott’s plea for a major disaster declaration, President Joe Biden approved the declaration, allowing assistance for winter storm survivors in 77 counties.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “This assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of this storm.”

Unfortunately, the first declaration did not include Anderson or Houston Counties. On Tuesday, Feb. 22, however, FEMA approved disaster assistance for an additional 31 counties who suffered damage from the winter storm that recently struck Texas.

The 31 additional counties are: Anderson, Austin, Bosque, Bowie, Burnet, Cherokee, Colorado, Erath, Fannin, Freestone, Gonzalez, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Hill, Houston, Hunt, Jackson, Jim Wells, Jones, Limestone, Lubbock, Medina, Milam, Navarro, Rusk, Taylor, Tom Green, Val Verde, Washington, and Wood.

The FEMA website stated, “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.

The additional counties join the 77 counties previously approved for disaster assistance. The counties are: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise.

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.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.

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