|Disaster Resource Centers (DRC)
As of June 8, 2018, all DRCs in Texas 14 are permanently closed. At one point, 82 DRCs were open and operating in Texas, offering assistance to survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
Despite the closures, help is just a click, call or tap on the FEMA app away: Call FEMA at 800-621-3362, log into DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA app by visiting fema.gov/mobile-app.
Q&A with Mitigation Specialists
Home improvement stores and FEMA are teaming up to help you. Stop by any of the locations and talk to a specialist for free information, tips, and literature. We all want to see our homes rebuilt stronger and safer.
This week, mitigation specialists will be at two Home Depot locations in Brazoria County:
Home Depot (Store #6543)
1514 Broadway St., Pearland, 77581
Monday July 23 - Sat. July 28 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Home Depot (Store #6567)
10111 Broadway St., Pearland, 77584
Tuesday July 24 - Saturday July 28 from 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
If FEMA Turned You Down, You Have a Right to Appeal
If you got a letter, email, or text from the Federal Emergency Management Agency declining your application for assistance and you disagree, you have the right to appeal. The explanation could be that your application was lacking an insurance settlement letter, proof of residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property, or proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.
• Insurance: If your coverage is not enough to make essential home repairs, pay for a place to stay, or replace personal items, FEMA may reconsider your application. But you must provide documents from your insurance company that detail any settlement. Remember, FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits.
• Occupancy: If you’re a homeowner or renter, FEMA may reconsider you for grants if you provide documents proving the damaged structure was your primary residence. FEMA needs to see your utility bills, driver’s license, or a copy of your lease or rental agreement. You cannot receive federal disaster assistance for secondary or vacation homes.
• Ownership: To prove ownership you may submitmortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts, or a deed.
If you feel FEMA’s decision, the amount, or the type of assistance is incorrect, you may submit an appeal letter and any documents needed to support your claim.
All appeals must be filed in writing. You should explain why you think the decision is incorrect. When submitting your letter, please include:
• Your full name.
• Date and place of birth.
• Address of the damaged dwelling.
• Your FEMA registration number.
Your letter must be either notarized – if you choose this option, please include a copy of a state-issued identification card – or include the following statement: “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
You must sign the letter.
If someone other than you is writing the letter, there must be a signed statement from you affirming the person may act on your behalf. You should keep a copy of the appeal for your records.
To file an appeal, letters must be postmarked or received by fax within 60 days of the date you received the FEMA determination letter.
FEMA – Individuals & Households Program
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
Attention: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program
If you have questions, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. Those who use TTY may call 800-462-7585. Operators are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time seven days a week.
Texas Efforts and Updates
The Texas General Land Office is charged with overseeing short- and long-term housing of Texans displaced by Hurricane Harvey. In turning this responsibility over to the state, we are insuring the needs of Texans are being heard and met. If you need to check your direct housing eligibility, get updates on your direct housing status, or ask questions about the program, you may call: 888-958-0877, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Texas General Land Office and FEMA have established a 24/7 maintenance helpline in Texas. The helpline will serve survivors living in mobile homes and travel trailers provided by the GLO/FEMA Direct Housing program. If your direct housing unit is in need of service or repair call: 877-503-6053.
How can the GLO help you? Find out: www.glo.texas.gov/texasrebuilds/
For information on the State-level projects and endeavors related to Harvey recovery, visit www.TexasRebuilds.com
Texas Rebuilds recently issued a fact sheet on FEMA Manufacture Housing Units and Severe Weather. If you or anyone you know is in an MHU, please keep a copy of this on hand: FEMA MHU Fact Sheet.
On February 26, the Governor's Commission to Rebuild Texas launched a project. The Recovery Tracker shows how funds related to recovery from Hurricane Harvey are being used throughout the state.
The full announcement can be found here: www.rebuildtexas.today/governors-commission-to-rebuild-texas-launches-recovery-tracker/
To jump straight to the tracker, click here: www.rebuildtexas.today/recovery-tracker/
By the Numbers
82: Disaster Recovery Centers supported Hurricane Harvey survivors.
41: Counties designated for Individual Assistance.
53: Counties designated for Public Assistance.
420: Public Assistance obligated projects to repair critical infrastructure.
306: Communities in Harvey impacted area participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.
3,256: Applicants housed through Direct Housing.
91,000: Flood insurance claims.
895,503: Texans registered for individual assistance.
13,000,000: Cubic yards of debris cleaned in Harvey impacted areas.
$23,000,000: Funds dedicated to Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
$697,980,620: Dollars obligated for Public Assistance projects.
$1,183,209,235: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds available for projects that lessen the impact of future disasters.
$1,620,000,000: Grants for Housing and Other Disaster-related expenses paid to survivors.
$3,360,000,000: Approved U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans.
$8,780,000,000: National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) payments.
$13,500,000,000: Money in survivors’ pockets from Federal and State grants, SBA low-interest disaster loans, and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) payments.
Disaster Mitigation - after Harvey and in preparation for the future. FEMA has a section of their website devoted to Texas Disaster Mitigation: www.fema.gov/Texas-disaster-mitigation
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 24/7, 365-day-a-year helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for survivors who are experiencing emotional distress related to a natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Call 800-985-5990, 800-846-8517 (TTY) or text Talk With Us (Spanish-speakers text: Hablanos) to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
FEMA Home Inspections for Hurricane Harvey Survivors
FEMA Home Inspections for Hurricane Harvey Survivors - Spanish
To file a flood insurance claim under the NFIP, contact your insurance agent immediately. You can also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) – select option 2 – to learn more about your policy, and be directed to the appropriate claims resource. The Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate provides general education and guidance on the National Flood Insurance Program. There are resources on NFIP flood insurance, hazard mitigation assistance, flood hazard mapping, and floodplain management.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering assistance.
SBA Fact Sheets on Texas Harvey Disaster Loans (English).
SBA Fact Sheets on Texas Harvey Disaster Loans (Spanish).
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has resources for those recovering from a disaster. More information may be found on their HUD Disaster Resources page. HUD can assist the State of Texas and local governments in re-allocating existing federal resources toward disaster relief. HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars in annual formula funding to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore streamlining the Department's CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing disaster assistance to communities, farmers, ranchers, and businesses hit by Hurricane Harvey. For more information, visit the USDA Storm Disaster Page.
For help with insurance questions and recovery resources, visit Texas Department of Insurance's Help After Harvey website. For more on the claims filing process, see How do I file a homeowners insurance claim?
There has been some misinformation surrounding Texas House Bill 1774. Some points of clarification - HB 1774 does not change the insurance claims process. A person making a claim with an insurance company after September 1, 2017 will go through the same process as a person making a claim before September 1, 2017. Furthermore, the new law will not apply to most claims or lawsuits arising from Harvey, because most of the policyholders’ claims will be for damage caused by flooding. These claims will be made through NFIP and governed by federal law.
Those who wish to support the long-term effort of rebuilding Texas communities devastated by Harvey may make a monetary donation to the Rebuild Texas Fund.
The IRS is offering tax relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Their press release offers useful information.
Governor Abbott suspended the waiting period for insurance companies to pay claims to vehicle owners impacted by Harvey. In doing so, the claims process will hopefully be faster. An estimated 500,000 cars were damaged due to Harvey. When purchasing a new vehicle, be sure to check the car facts for indications of flooding. Parts from flooded vehicles may find their way to the open market — this is illegal, but we should all be aware this is a possibility. The Governor is temporarily waiving license and registration renewal fees for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. More information may be found on the DMV website — www.txdmv.gov/harvey
There is a chance flooded cars will starting popping up on the market. Flooded cars can be problematic.There are safety, mechanical, electrical, and health issues associated with them. Breaks may be warped. ABS malfunctions may occur. The car could experience exhaust system or transmission failures, engine seizures, and overheating. Wires may short circuit causing malfunctions throughout the computer system. Mold in the fabrics and bacteria in the ventilation system are hazardous to your health.
CarFax will run the vehical VIN numbers for free, allowing you to see the history of the car, and in the instances of flooding, when the car flooded, how long the car was flooded, and why the flooding occured. Along with the VIN information, the CarFax press release shares valuable information on how to avoid purchasing flood cars.
If you lost your gun license in Harvey, the governor is temporarily allowing no-cost replacements. More information on how to obtain a replacement may be found in his press release