AUSTIN, Texas – June 17, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The federal disaster declaration for Texas has been expanded to include Individual Assistance for seven additional counties as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that began May 4, according to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The seven Texas counties newly designated for Individual Assistance are: Cooke, Dallas, Fannin, Grayson, Liberty, Nueces, and Walker. They join 23 counties already designated for Individual Assistance: Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Denton, Eastland, Fort Bend, Gaines, Guadalupe, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Johnson, Milam, Montague, Navarro, Rusk, Smith, Travis, Wichita, Williamson, Wise and Van Zandt. Residents in the now 30 designated counties are eligible to apply for state and federal assistance.
Disaster assistance for homeowners and renters may include grants to help pay for rent, temporary housing and home repairs, as well as other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also are available. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
Texans who had storm damage should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
Residents and business owners should apply right away with SBA as part of the overall federal disaster recovery process, and not wait for insurance claims to settle.
People can apply for FEMA assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 toll free from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) daily until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY, call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6.
The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice (at) sba (dot) gov, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for childcare, medical, dental expenses and/or funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, those who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, transportation, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.