FEMA & Harvey: 555,000 register, $141M awarded, 5 million meals
Registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance. If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call at 1-800-621-3362. When you register for disaster assistance either online or by phone, you will need the following to complete your application:
• Social Security number
• Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
• Current mailing address
• Current telephone number
• Insurance information
• Total household annual income
• Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
• A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses…
- To date, FEMA received more than 555,000 registrations for assistance. More than 176,000 survivors are approved for $141 million in FEMA disaster assistance. Of that amount, $50 million is approved for housing assistance i.e. rental assistance, and more than $91 million is approved for other needs assistance.
o Other Needs Assistance is a financial needs-based program that includes financial support to replace personal property, transportation, and disaster-related medical and dental needs.
- Due to a high call volume on FEMA’s registration intake line, your call may be delayed. Please be patient, and try calling in the morning or evening when volume may be lower or register online.
- While the coordinated response continues, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other federal, state, local, and tribal partners, are beginning to direct efforts toward recovery, including housing survivors displaced by the disaster through the state-led disaster housing task force.
- To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice among the many National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org. For those who wish to help, cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover.
- HUD is the lead federal coordinating agency for short-term, intermediate and long-term housing needs. Federal partners are working closely with the Texas state-led housing task force, as well as other state, local, tribal and voluntary agencies, to meet the need for quality affordable rental homes. They are also focused on identifying strategies to strengthen the housing market, building inclusive and sustainable communities, and integrating disaster mitigation measures into community design and development, to reduce future damages.
- Registering online, at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, is the quickest way to register for federal assistance.
- At registration, survivors receive information about other resources in the area, including additional disaster assistance services from other federal agencies.
- One important opportunity for survivors of Hurricane Harvey is the availability of long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
o SBA offers low interest, long-term disaster loans to disaster-impacted homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, and private universities.
- Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSATs) are in the field supporting the needs of disaster survivors in person. DSATs address immediate and emerging needs of disaster survivors including on-site registration, applicant status checks, on-the-spot needs assessments, requests for accommodations for those with disabilities or access or functional needs.
- The first Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opened on September 1, 2017. Additional DRCs continue to open in locations identified by the state of Texas to provide information to survivors. To find a location for a DRC in your area, visit the DRC Locator.
o A DRC is a facility or mobile office where survivors may go for information about available disaster assistance programs or ask questions related to their individual situation.
o DRCs are staffed by representatives from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, FEMA, SBA, volunteer agencies, and others providing support to survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
- In Texas, the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) is available for eligible disaster survivors with a continuing need for shelter because they are unable to return to their homes for an extended period. To be eligible for TSA, survivors must first register for federal assistance with FEMA.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has received 5,712 disaster loan applications primarily for homes. The SBA has fielded more than 13,163 calls and completed 1,997 property damage inspections. SBA has approved 197 disaster loans for a total of $17.5 million.
- FEMA reminds survivors to continue to update their contact information as they change addresses or telephone numbers. It is common for displaced disaster survivors to move around as they recover from disaster. If your contact information changes, just call the Helpline and let us know. This helps FEMA help you faster.
- FEMA provides information for all survivors, including those with limited English proficiency, or disabilities, including access and functional needs.
o Limited English Proficiency Information:
- Spanish: https://www.fema.gov/es/disaster/4332
- Arabic: https://www.fema.gov/ar/disaster/4332
- Urdu: https://www.fema.gov/ur/disaster/4332
- Vietnamese: https://www.fema.gov/vi/disaster/4332
- Korean: https://www.fema.gov/ko/disaster/4332
- Chinese: https://www.fema.gov/zh-hans/disaster/4332
- Tagalog: https://www.fema.gov/tl/disaster/4332
- On September 2, 2017, the major disaster declaration for Texas was amended to authorize a 90 percent Federal cost share for debris removal, including direct Federal assistance (DFA); and a 100 percent Federal cost share for emergency protective measures, including DFA, for 30 days from the start of the incident period, and then a 90 percent Federal cost share thereafter.
- On September 1, 2017, President Trump amended the earlier declaration to add the following counties:
o Individual Assistance: Polk, Tyler, and Walker
o Public Assistance: Polk, Tyler, and Walker
- On August 30, 2017, President Trump amended the earlier Hurricane Harvey major disaster declaration to add counties.
o Individual Assistance: Colorado, Fayette, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Jacinto, and Waller
o Public Assistance: Colorado, Fayette, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Jacinto, and Waller
o Emergency Protective Measures: Dallas, Tarrant, and Travis
- On August 27, 2017, President Trump amended the earlier Hurricane Harvey major disaster declaration to add 12 counties.
o Individual Assistance: Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Jackson, Liberty, Matagorda, Victoria, and Wharton.
o Public Assistance: Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Jackson, Liberty, Matagorda, Victoria, and Wharton
o Emergency Protective Measures: Bexar
- On August 25, 2017, President Trump at the request of Governor Abbott declared a major disaster declaration for the state of Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey, beginning on August 23, 2017. This declaration makes federal assistance available to affected individuals and households. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for state, tribal, and local government and certain private nonprofit organizations for debris removal and emergency protective measures.
o Individual Assistance: Bee, Goliad, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio
o Public Assistance: Bee, Goliad, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio
- Hazard mitigation is available statewide in Texas.
- On August 31, 2017, President Trump amended the earlier emergency declaration to include the following parishes: Acadia, Allen, Iberia, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, and Vernon.
- On August 28, 2017, President Trump declared an emergency for Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vermillion parishes in the state of Louisiana, at the request of Governor Bel Edwards.
- FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas under the Public Assistance program at 75 percent federal funding. Direct Federal Assistance may be included in a state or tribal request when they lack a capability to perform or contract for debris removal, emergency protective measures, emergency communications, or emergency public transportation.
Road to Recovery
- In Texas, expedited rental assistance is approved in Texas for eligible disaster survivors. 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.
- In Texas, Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits are available to those whose jobs were directly affected by Hurricane Harvey. This may include people not normally eligible for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed persons and farm-workers.
- For those experiencing emotional distress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) activated its Disaster Distress helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746).
- Family and friends of those in the affected areas are urged to check social network sites like Facebook or Twitter for information about your loved ones, or use the American Red Cross’s Safe and Wellprogram, to let family members know they are safe, or looking for loved ones.
National Flood Insurance Program Advance Payments
- If you have damage to your home, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim.
- To file a flood insurance claim under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), contact your insurance agent immediately. NFIP is authorizing advance payments of NFIP claims to expedite recovery.
- 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.
o As of September 3, 2017, over 71,000 claims have been submitted in Texas. This number is expected to continue increasing.
o $6.2 million in advance payments has been issued to insured survivors.
- FEMA directed its NFIP partner insurance companies and the NFIP Direct to issue advance payments to help NFIP policyholders begin their recovery. The bulletin issued to the companies can be accessed here: https://nfip-iservice.com/Stakeholder/pdf/bulletin/w-17024.pdf
- If you have NFIP flood insurance and suffered flood damage related to Hurricane Harvey, you may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 for building and contents damages prior to the adjuster’s inspection with an advance payment request agreement signed by you.
o If you have photos and receipts which validate your out-of-pocket expense, you may receive an advance payment up to $10,000.
o If the flood insurance adjuster has inspected your loss, you have significant damage, and a copy of your contractor’s estimate, you may receive a larger advance payment based on the estimated covered loss.
- The U.S. Department of Education has activated its emergency response contact center in response to the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The Department’s K-12 and Higher Education stakeholders who are seeking informational resources should contact the Department toll free at 1-844-348-4082 or by email at HarveyRelief@ed.gov.
- For additional information on children and disasters, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- To help children recover or cope with the situation, consider these tips:
o Limit TV Time: Intense media coverage of disasters can frighten young children and disturb teenagers as well.
o Keep To A Routine: Help your children feel as if they still have a sense of structure, which can make them feel more at ease or provide a sense of familiarity. When schools and child care open again, help them to return to normal activities including going back to class, sports and play groups.
o Make Time for Them: Help kids to understand that they are safe and secure by talking, playing and doing other family activities with them. To help younger children feel safe and calm, read a favorite book or have a relaxing family game or activity.
o This is a difficult time for those who have had to evacuate their homes as well as for those who have been able to return and see the damages to their homes.
o It is important not to overlook how this storm affects the children who live in these areas and who have lost their pets, favorite toys, or other cherished treasures. They may not fully understand what is going on.
- To report a missing child, contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) National Emergency Child Locator Center at 1-866-908-9570. Anyone who finds an unaccompanied child who may have been separated from their parents or caregivers should contact the local police, or enter basic information and/or a photo into the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’sUnaccompanied Minors Registry or call 1-866-908-9570. If your missing child has a disability or access and functional need, please indicate that when talking with the NCMEC. If you have found an unaccompanied child, please indicate this information in the appropriate field in the Unaccompanied Minors Registry.
- In Texas Federal, state, and local search and rescue teams have been operating in partnership to reach those stranded in flooded areas. FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) task forces with the National Urban Search and Rescue System have rescued 6,453 survivors and 237 pets. As floodwaters subside and the requests for search and rescue missions reduce, personnel and resources are realigning and demobilizing.
- FEMA established Incident Support Bases (ISB) near Seguin, Texas, Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana to ensure supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources are closer to affected areas and are available for distribution to state, tribal, and local officials. State, local, and tribal officials are responsible for distributing supplies to the community.
o As of this morning, the following commodities have been provided to the states at their request:
- More than 5 million meals
- More than 4.5 million liters of water
- More than 13,900 blankets
- More than 13,400 cots
- More than 416,000 meals
- More than 414,000 liters of water
o The states set up points of distribution supporting survivors around the affected areas.
o More than 10 million meals, 15 million liters of water, 130,000 blankets, and 55,000 cots, remain available at ISBs for transfer to the states of Texas and Louisiana should they be needed and requested. Additional commodities are in route to the ISBs.
- Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and equipment are on the ground in Texas and Louisiana to support the states with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services for emergency response communications needs. The following teams and assets are on the ground in Texas, with additional teams continuing to arrive:
o 27 Mobile Emergency Response Support teams
o 25 mobile communication office vehicles and 31 operators in support of US&R, IMAT, ISB, and survivor assistance.
- A FEMA Incident Management Assistance Team is in place in Austin, Texas to support the state.
- FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center and the Department of Homeland Security National Protection and Program Directorate have been working with over 350 companies from critical infrastructure and other industry partners to coordinate situational awareness related to infrastructure restoration, donations, operations, and facilitating access to the disaster area impacted. These efforts are conducted in coordination with state of Texas law enforcement.
- More than 4,500 FEMA employees are working in support of Hurricane Harvey response and recovery.
Federal Family Actions
- More than 32,000 federal staff are deployed in support of Hurricane Harvey response and recovery.
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) HHS programs and technical experts continue to meet the surge in demand for healthcare and social services. Last week, HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D. signed a Public Health Emergency declaration. Additional information is available at www.hhs.gov/hurricane-harvey.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is focused on flood mitigation and reservoir operations, temporary emergency power, debris technical assistance, navigation restoration, and infrastructure assessments.
- The Red Cross launched a massive response to this devastating storm. There are more than 32,000 survivors in 226 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas. In Louisiana, there is one Red Cross shelter open with a population of over 1,600 people. To support the operation, the Red Cross has more than 2,600 disaster workers are on the ground. Feeding operations are ramping up with five field kitchens in operation.
- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Texas Water Science Center deployed storm surge sensors in as many as 20 locations between the San Luis Pass and Corpus Christi. USGS is providing advance support, real-time field measurements, and daily reporting of water heights via deployed storm-tide sensors to help public officials assess storm damage, discern between wind and flood damage, and improve computer models used to forecast future floods.
- Remember, follow instructions from state, local, and tribal officials. Do not return to evacuated areas until told it is safe to do so.