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FEMA Assistance Available; Spread the Word

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rain00072Word of mouth is a powerful way to spread news. Amazing as it may seem, some people are so busy with their recovery, they haven’t heard about federal help. You could be the one to bring this important message to someone you know, perhaps a friend, neighbor, co-worker, family member or acquaintance.

Tell your neighbors they may be eligible for a grant to help them pay for home repairs or to replace personal property ruined by the severe storms and flooding between May 4 and June 22. These grants do not have to be repaid. People affected by the disaster may also have an opportunity to take out a low-interest disaster recovery loan.

Encourage your friends to register for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This helps individuals, households, the whole community and the state of Texas recover faster and stronger.

Sometimes people don’t register for reasons based on rumors. Here are some rumors you may hear and the facts you could share to help your friends and neighbors understand their options:

“If I receive aid, I’m taking it away from someone who is in worse shape than I am and needs it more.” Sufficient funds are available to assist every eligible individual and household in Texas.

“I can’t get aid. My income is too high.” Everyone with disaster-related losses who lives in a county designated for Individual Assistance should register to find out if they are eligible for recovery help. There is no income test for some types of aid.

“I have insurance. I’m not eligible for FEMA help.” People with insurance should register. FEMA may be able to give you a grant for expenses not covered by your insurance. Register now even if you are still waiting for your insurance settlement.

“I’m a renter. Aid isn’t available for renters.” Renters should register if they lost or had damage to any necessary personal property, such as a vehicle or a computer used for school.

Homeowners, renters and businesses in the 47 Texas counties currently designated for Individual Assistance 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 deadline to register is Aug. 27.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program has a call center to answer Texas policyholders’ flood insurance questions. Specialists can help with servicing claims, providing general information and offering technical assistance to aid in recovery. To speak with a flood insurance specialist, call 800-621-3362 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Author: Staff Reporter

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