Newly elected president Joe Biden made headlines by approving Texas as a Federal Disaster Area due to the effects of the winter storm, but Hopkins County was excluded from individual assistance. Only 77 counties out of the 254 Texas counties were approved for individual assistance, where individuals (mostly without insurance) can apply for damage reimbursement directly from the federal government. Texas Governor Greg Abbott thanked Biden for the “partial assistance” and said it was an important first step. All counties in Texas are eligible for “Public Assistance” which covers emergency protective measures only. The full explanation of this public assistance was found on the FEMA website and is the following: “FEMA reimburses state and local governments and certain types of private nonprofit organizations for the cost of disaster-related debris removal, emergency protective measures to protect life and property, and permanent repair work to damaged or destroyed infrastructure.” It is unknown at this time if the city or county will have any claims to make that will qualify for reimbursement.
Hopefully the disaster declaration will be expanded at some point to include individual claims from more counties as this can be a huge help for those without insurance that have sustained damage.
Until then only residents in the following counties were approved for Individual Assistance and can apply directly to FEMA for reimbursement:
Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise Counties.