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May 10, 2016

There are multiple FEMA updates in this email:

1.  A Letter From FEMA May Require Follow-Up
2.  Aid May Be Available to Repair or Replace a Vehicle Damaged by April Floods
3.  Houston Residents in Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties May Now Qualify for Federal Disaster Assistance

1. A Letter From FEMA May Require Follow-Up

Texas storm survivors who receive a letter from FEMA that they are ineligible for disaster assistance should not give up-but should follow up instead. The issue may be as simple as a misprinted number or an unsigned document.
After registering with FEMA, applicants can expect a notice by mail about whether they qualify for federal disaster assistance. Read the letter carefully.

  • If eligible, the letter explains the amount of the grant and how it is to be used.
  • If ineligible-if the grant amount reads "0"-applicants may still qualify.

Applicants who are denied assistance can call the FEMA Helpline for an explanation why, or go online to DisasterAssistance.gov. A denial letter may mean the application is missing information such as verification of occupancy of the damaged property, proof of identity, documentation of disaster damage, or what is covered under an insurance policy. Call the FEMA Helpline if you do not receive a letter.

FEMA examines several factors to determine if a survivor will receive disaster assistance. The agency must be able to:

  • Verify disaster-related damage. If your property was inspected and you believe the inspector did not see all the damage, call the FEMA Helpline: 800-621-3362 (FEMA).
  • Collect an applicant's insurance information.
  • Verify an applicant's identity.
  • Verify home occupancy. Applicants must provide proof of occupancy such as a utility bill.

In Texas, federal disaster assistance is available to residents of Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Harris, Parker, Waller and Wharton counties who suffered damage from the April 17-24 storms.

Survivors who suffered damage in the impacted counties are urged to register for assistance. To do so:

  • Go to DisasterAssistance.gov; or
  • By phone (voice, 711 or video relay service) at 800-621-3362 (FEMA), TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
  • Visit any disaster recovery center in the disaster-impacted counties.

For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster webpage for the April storms at fema.gov/disaster/4269; or visit the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at txdps.state.tx.us/dem. Follow us on Twitter @femaregion6.

2. Aid May Be Available to Repair or Replace a Vehicle Damaged by April Floods

AUSTIN, Texas - Texans whose vehicles were damaged or destroyed by this April's flooding may be eligible to receive federal assistance to repair or replace the vehicle.

"Those who may be eligible include not just residents of the designated counties, but also those who were working in or visiting those areas between April 17 and April 24 and had disaster- related damage to their vehicle," said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes, who is in charge of FEMA's operations in Texas.

The eight counties included in the federal disaster declaration are: Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Harris, Parker, Waller and Wharton.

The following conditions apply to assistance for a damaged or destroyed vehicle:

  • The damaged vehicle must have complied with applicable state laws regarding title, vehicle registration and insurance requirements at the time of the damage.
  • Only those who maintain at least liability insurance will be considered to receive federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their vehicles. Liability coverage is the minimum insurance requirement for Texas drivers. Liability insurance policies do not cover storm-related damage. Survivors who register must submit proof to FEMA that they maintain liability coverage to be considered for federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their cars.
  • Survivors who have a comprehensive policy should first file a claim with their insurance company. Comprehensive policies usually pay for storm-related damage to a car. However, federal disaster assistance may help fill the gaps for those whose comprehensive insurance coverage does not pay for any or all storm-related damage costs.
  • Survivors need to return a completed U.S. Small Business Administration disaster- loan application. After registering with FEMA, the SBA may contact survivors concerning disaster loan applications. It's important for survivors to submit their application. Homeowners and renters may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
  • FEMA grants to repair or replace a vehicle must clear the SBA disaster loan process. A survivor may receive a grant from FEMA to repair or replace their car if insurance is insufficient and they were declined for an SBA home loan. Grants do not need to be repaid.
  • Keep documents. Federal disaster assistance is available to survivors only if their cars had damage during the severe storms and flooding April 17 to April 24. Survivors must submit an itemized document showing damage to the cars was storm-related and a receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement costs.

FEMA officials advise anyone whose vehicle was damaged during the storms and flooding to register for assistance.
Texans can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362.

Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

For more information about the SBA loan process, survivors may contact SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting the SBA website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster webpage for the April storms at  fema.gov/disaster/4269; or visit the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at  txdps.state.tx.us/dem. Follow us on Twitter @femaregion6.

3. Houston Residents in Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties May Now Qualify for Federal Disaster Assistance

Houstonians who live in Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties who sustained damage or losses from the storms and flooding that occurred April 17-24 can now register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This follows the addition of these counties to the federal disaster declaration after last month's storms. 
Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Applicants will be asked for the following information:

  • Social Security number;
  • Address of the damaged primary residence;
  • Description of the damage;
  • Information about insurance coverage;
  • A current contact telephone number;
  • An address where they can receive mail; and
  • A bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.

Businesses, homeowners or renters who sustained damage may also qualify for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Residents and businesses should first register with FEMA to see what assistance is available, and may be referred to SBA for additional help.

SBA provides low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes as well as landlords, homeowners, renters and eligible private nonprofit organizations that sustained disaster damage. There is no cost to apply for a loan.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

  • Eligible homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 for home repair or replacement of primary residences, and eligible homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property, including a vehicle.
  • Businesses of all sizes can qualify for up to $2 million in low-interest loans to help cover physical damage.
  • Small businesses and most private nonprofits suffering economic impact due to the severe weather and flooding can apply for up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury under SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. 

Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA's secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are available online at SBA.gov/disaster, from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.

Disaster Recovery Centers

In addition to registering online or via phone, residents can visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in the Houston area to register for assistance, get questions answered about FEMA and SBA assistance, and get connected with disaster recovery resources. 

The Hours of Operation for DRCs are:

  • Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday: 9:00am - 2:00pm
  • Sundays: Closed

The locations are: 

Bayland Community Center
6400 Bissonnet Street
Houston, Texas 77074

Greenspoint Commerical Office Building
16800 Imperial Valley Drive
Houston, Texas 77060

Cypress Creek Christian Church
6823 Cypresswood
Spring, Texas 77379

Lone Star College Cy-Fair Library
9191 Barker Cypress Road
Cypress, Texas 77433

In addition, three additional Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers (MDRCs) are open:

Foundry United Methodist Church
8350 Jones Road
Jersey Village, TX 77065

Katy Park
24927 Morton Ranch Road
Katy, TX 77493

Lone Star College-University Park
20515 TX- 249
Houston, TX 77070

For information on disaster recovery in the City of Houston, visit houstonrecovers.org.


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