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For Immediate Release
FEMA News Desk
WASHINGTON – As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to batter eastern Texas and southwest Louisiana, life safety and access to safe shelters remain a priority of local responders, Texas officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the entire federal family.
More than 230 shelters are currently open across the affected and surrounding areas. Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) to register for assistance, and for directions to open shelters, a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
While immediate lifesaving and life sustaining operations are the priority for FEMA and our partners, residents and business owners in designated counties who sustained damage due to Tropical Storm Harvey, and are able to do so, should apply for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
Registering online is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance since the event will last several days and the full scope of damages may not be evident until the storm has passed. If you do not have access to the internet you may register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). If you use 711 relay or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362 directly. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
For survivors who have registered, short-term housing assistance and other immediate funding is available:
- Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) was approved in Texas for eligible disaster survivors who have a continuing need for shelter because they are unable to return to their homes for an extended period of time. This initiative is intended to provide short-term lodging for eligible disaster survivors whose communities are either uninhabitable or inaccessible due to disaster-related damage. FEMA will contact you if you are eligible for the program. A listing of available properties under this program can be found at www.femaevachotels.com.
- Two Months of Expedited Rental Assistance was also approved in Texas for eligible disaster survivors. Due to the size of the disaster, FEMA is using coastal depth and riverine flooding data to identify damaged homes, so survivors can get funds quickly and begin making decisions regarding their temporary housing solutions.
- National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Advance Payments. If a survivor has NFIP flood insurance and suffered damage during the recent floods related to Hurricane Harvey, they may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 for building and contents damages prior to the adjuster’s inspection with a signed advance payment request agreement. If a policyholder has photos and receipts that validate out-of-pocket expense, they may receive an advance payment up to $10,000. If the flood insurance adjuster has inspected a loss, and the policyholder’s property has significant damage, and a copy of a contractor’s estimate, they may receive a larger advance payment of the estimated covered loss. Any advance payments are deducted from a final claims payment.
- Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) may now be available to individuals and households who, as a result of the disaster, have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary home. Immediate or critical needs include, but aren’t limited to, water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items, and fuel for transportation. CNA is a one-time, limited payment per household for eligible applicants who register for FEMA assistance.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for Texas residents whose jobs were affected by Tropical Storm Harvey in Texas, specifically those who live or work in the counties included in the major disaster declaration. This may include people not normally eligible for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed persons and farm-workers. They can apply for unemployment benefits online at https://apps.twc.state.tx.us/UBS/security/logon.do.
- Immediate Foreclosure Relief from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may be available for Texas residents. HUD is granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages. There are approximately 200,000 FHA-insured homeowners living in these impacted counties that may be eligible. HUD is also offering longer-term recovery assistance to survivors and impacted communities. For more information, visit HUD’s website.
FEMA assistance could also include grants for temporary housing, home repairs and uninsured property losses. Loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) may also be available to help repair flood-related damage to your home or business and replace personal property. The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans of up to $200,000 to repair a primary residence, up to $40,000 for homeowners and renters to replace personal property and up to $2 million to businesses and most private non-profits for physical damage and economic injury needs as a result of the disaster. Survivors need to register with FEMA first to determine their eligibility for any federal assistance that may be available. For additional information about recovery resources in states affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, visit www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey.
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