Filemon Vela

Representing the 34 District of Texas

Recovering from Severe Weather in South Texas

In June, South Texas suffered severe weather including heavy rains.  The resulting flooding caused damage to homes and businesses, and the federal government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (or FEMA) is bringing resources to the Rio Grande Valley to help repair and rebuild, which you will find below:

After the Disaster Assistance Registration Deadline

The date for registering for federal disaster assistance has passed, but that doesn’t mean FEMA and its partners are done helping. There is still a lot of work to be done. Survivors still have resources they can rely on to continue rebuilding their homes and lives. The steps survivors take to stay on the road to recovery are very important.

Survivors can:

Stay in Touch with FEMA — If you registered for disaster assistance following the severe storms and flooding, stay in touch with FEMA. The easiest way to update your application, check your status or provide missing information is to create an account at DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline at (800) 621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS, TTY (800) 462-7585) between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Call 2-1-1 (option 1) for Unmet Needs — 2-1-1 Texas is a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 (option 1), or (877) 541-7905, and find information about resources in your local community including help finding food or housing, child care, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment.

Contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — HUD offers programs to assist both homeowners and renters. For more information, you can visit DisasterAssistance.gov or contact the Federal Housing Authority Resource Center at (800) 225- 5342.

Monitor Their National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Claim Survivors who would like to monitor their flood insurance claim may follow up with their insurance company. If you’re unsatisfied with the insurance decision you receive, visit https://www.fema.gov/flood-claim-appeals- and-guidance to see what further actions you can take.

Contact the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) — TDI regulates the Texas insurance industry and acts as a resource for insurance-related questions, concerns, and complaints. Find out more about what TDI can do for you at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/index.html or call (800) 252-3439.

Follow Up on Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans 

If you applied for an SBA loan after the severe storms and flooding, and you want to follow up or have any questions about your loan, contact the SBA by calling (800) 659-2955, or by visiting www.sba.gov/disaster.

Appeal a Disaster Assistance Determination Letter — If you are found to be ineligible for disaster assistance following the severe storms and flooding, or you feel the award amount is insufficient, you have the right to an appeal. Carefully read your determination letter to understand why the decision was made and how you can receive the assistance you need. For more information, you may contact the FEMA helpline at (800) 621-3362 or (800) 462-7585 (TTY).

Help Is Available:

Disaster Legal Services — Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA): legal experts that can help survivors with many post-flooding civil legal issues they have. Issues could range from problems with landlords, flood-insurance claims for homes and cars, lost or damaged documents, and accessing aid from FEMA and other programs. Low-income flood survivors can also call TRLA’s disaster hotline (866) 757-1570 for help, and TRLA has also published “Know Your Rights” tip sheets and videos that cover the legal rights and options for disaster survivors. These media can be found at http://www.trla.org/disasters.

Hazard Mitigation Information For more information and resources on mitigation issues, you can visit the FEMA mitigation website at fema.gov/texas-disaster-mitigation.

Mortgage Relief — Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers mortgage relief options to survivors in Texas. If you have an FHA loan and are struggling to make payments, are in danger of foreclosure or have questions about your loan, visit the FHA Resource Center at: https://www.hud.gov/complaints/customer_service or call (800) 225-5342.


 

Do you have insurance? If you have a homeowner’s or flood insurance policy, contact your insurance company and file a claim first.

If your home IS safe, sanitary, and secure: You can check to see if you are eligible for disaster assistance from other Federal, state, and voluntary organizations by visiting https://www.disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/find-assistance. This tool can help you identify available resources in your community.

If your home is NOT safe, sanitary, or secure: Visit www.disasterassistance.gov,or call 1-800-621-3362 to assess your needs and to find out what federal assistance may be available to you. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

 


Additional Information:

Texas disaster mitigation information: https://www.fema.gov/texas-disaster-mitigation  

Additional information on mitigation: www.fema.gov/what-mitigation.

Protecting properties from disaster information: www.fema.gov/protect-your- property.