Texas Receives Presidential Disaster Declaration
FEMA released the Presidential Disaster Declaration for Texas early this morning due to the severe weather, tornados, and flooding the state has experienced since May 4th.
Early this morning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released a statement regarding the Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas (which includes Harris, Hays, and Van Zandt counties). As many may know the State has experienced severe storms, tornados, straight-line winds, and flooding since May 4th, and is still ongoing. The declaration makes grants available for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs individuals and business owners can use to recover from the disaster’s impacts.
Individual Assistance (Households and Businesses)
Though damage assessments are ongoing (which may cause more counties to be added to the disaster declaration) the federal assistance programs have been made available for individuals in: (i) Harris, (ii) Hays, and (iii) Van Zandt counties. The declaration makes grants available for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs individuals and business owners can use to recover from the disaster’s impacts. For specifics on what you may qualify for it is important to visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800621-FEMA (3362). The toll-free number will operate between 7AM and 9PM seven days a week until further notice. Below are summaries of the programs available, it is important to note though, you must apply to FEMA for the assistance, it is not an automatically applied for you.
Rental Assistance for Temporary Housing: Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
Home Repair/Fixture Replacement Grants: Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
Immediate Personal Property Replacement Grants: Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
Unemployment Compensation: Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
Low Interest Loans for Uninsured Losses: Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Low Interest Small Business, Non-Profit & Agricultural Loans: Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
Low Interest Agricultural Property Loss Loans: Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.
Other Miscellaneous Assistance: Crisis counseling, income tax assistance for filing casualty losses, legal advice assistance, veteran’s benefits, and social security matters.
Federal funding has also been made available for local governments and select non-profits (on a cost sharing basis) for emergency work and repair/replacement of facilities damaged by the severe weather and flooding in: (i) Cooke, (ii) Gaines, (iii) Grimes, (iv) Harris, (v) Navarro, and (vi) Van Zandt counties. Local governments and select non-profits can find out more about application procedures at the federal and state applicant briefings hosted by recovery officials in the near future. Local governments can apply for assistance in:
Cost Sharing of Expenses from Lifesaving Measures Taken: Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis.
Cost Sharing of Repair/Replacement of Public Infrastructure: Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.
Cost Sharing of Hazard Mitigation Projects During Recovery: Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.
Read the Press Release on the Disaster Declaration here.
Visit FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Website here.
Visit a list of all assistance available for application on diasterassistance.gov here.