AUSTIN, Texas – Although many weeks have passed since the May 4 through June 19 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding hit Texas, homeowners who continue their recovery still are in need of volunteer support.
Volunteers, service groups and paid contractors have helped clean up flooded homes and cleared out debris-filled yards. But hundreds more volunteers are still urgently needed to work in Bastrop, San Marcos and Wimberley.
Whether volunteers can donate a few hours or several days of their time, the effort will help multiply effect and speed the recovery for disaster survivors. For coordination purposes, local officials ask volunteers—whether co-workers, college clubs, faith-based groups, or nonprofit organizations—to sign up at the following reception centers:
Bastrop Volunteer Reception Center
1106 College St.
Bastrop, TX 78602
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
San Marcos Volunteer Reception Center
126 W. Hopkins St.
San Marcos, TX
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Wimberley Volunteer Reception Center
200 Stillwater Dr, Suite 2
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, 16 if accompanied by a parent. All volunteers are required to wear long pants, rubber boots, and bring a hat. Personal protective gear, such as gloves, safety goggles, and dust masks will be provided. Coordinators recommend that volunteers bring their own lunch as well as bottles of water.
Safety briefings will be held at each center before heading out to the disaster sites. Volunteers should be aware that the work will be strenuous.
Work assignments include:
Minor home repairs
Bleaching affected items
In mid-June, FEMA and AmeriCorps program teams joined forces with community volunteers in Hays and Bastrop counties. They mucked out more than 100 flooded homes, cleared over a 1,000 cubic yards of debris, and temporarily repaired 70 roofs.
The AmeriCorps program teams included:
AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps)
Arizona Conservation Corps
Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corps
Texas Conservation Corps
AmeriCorps St. Louis-Emergency Response Team
Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa
AmeriCorps program members come from across the country and have been deployed to disasters many times before. They bring a variety of backgrounds and skills to their community service projects. For more information about AmeriCorps, go to www.americorps.gov.
People who had storm damage in the designated area should register for FEMA assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 toll free from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
Disaster assistance for eligible survivors may include grants to help pay for rent, essential home repairs, and personal property replacement. Low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other resources.
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.
Home owners in Hays and Bastrop counties who had damages and need help with unmet needs, should call 2-1-1. Anyone using a relay service should call 877-541-7905. Information and referral is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).
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.
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.
For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4223, Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website, https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.
Visit www.fema.gov/texas-disaster-mitigation for publications and reference material on rebuilding and repairing safer and stronger.