What You Need to Know About FEMA Assistance – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
When the power went out in Mayra Tovar’s Fort Worth apartment last Monday, she and her two children went to see a relative. When the electricity came back on Wednesday, Tover said a neighbor called to tell her that water was flowing out from under her front door.
“I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And she says, “I wouldn’t lie to you, honey. You have to come right now,” Tovar said.
Tovar and family members rushed to rescue what they could from the apartment. She estimated she’d lost $ 2,000 or $ 3,000 in furniture and personal effects.
Tovar requested assistance from FEMA on Sunday after learning it was available. She is now waiting for an inspector to call back.
“When I was sitting there taking all my things out, I wasn’t like, ‘It’ll be fine, I can just call FEMA. ‘If it hadn’t been for word of mouth, I wouldn’t have. I think it’s good to get the word out, ”said Tovar.
Over the weekend, President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for 108 counties in Texas, including much of northern Texas. This means that individuals can apply to FEMA for assistance for underinsured or uninsured damage.
FEMA recommends applying online.
Residents can reach someone seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. by phone at 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585)
Low-interest catastrophe loans for businesses, homeowners, and renters are also available through the US Small Business Administration. For more information, please visit us online or call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339).
What is covered and what is not
In general, FEMA endeavors to cover the costs of temporary housing and repairs in order to bring the apartments back to a livable and safe condition. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance coverage, which is why FEMA encourages insured Texans to file a claim with their insurance companies as well.
“FEMA cannot duplicate insured benefits. You may be notified that we are currently unable to help. This is part of the process. We have to wait for the insurance company to pay off or for some determination to give you,” according to FEMA Region 6 Spokesman Earl Armstrong said.
FEMA said it doesn’t cover home insurance deductibles, but if the insurance isn’t enough to cover the necessary expenses, FEMA may be able to help.
FEMA said it would pay for additional childcare in the event of a disaster.
FEMA does not cover the cost of food that goes bad in the refrigerator. However, SNAP recipients are entitled to compensation for food lost or destroyed in the disaster. SNAP clients can dial 211 and choose option 2.
At the time, FEMA said it was not paying the high electricity bills some people face because of the storm. If this changes, NBC 5 Responds will update it.
If you are unsure whether your losses are covered, register and report your situation to FEMA. FEMA may be able to refer you to another agency that could help you.
Before you apply
FEMA needs contact information, including your current address, if you are in a different location after the disaster.
Make a general list of your losses and damage to your property.
If you are insured, FEMA will ask for your insurance number. If you don’t have it, include your insurance agent’s name or insurance company.
FEMA wants you to first file a claim with your insurance company and then apply for FEMA assistance.
If it is safe to begin cleanup and repairs, do so now to prevent further damage. Easily snap photos to document damage and keep receipts for all purchases.
Armstrong says there’s no specific schedule, but it can take a few days for an inspector to call after you apply. The inspector can request an inspection.
According to FEMA, all inspections due to COVID-19 are currently carried out virtually. If approved, support would take a few more days.
What if my county is not on the major disaster statement?
The declaration covers the following 108 counties: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Biene, Glocke, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Braun, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Erath, Waterfalls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Gonzales, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison , Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Limestone, Lubbock, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Medina, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Rusks, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Travis, Tom Green, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, Wise an d Wood.
If you’re in another county, Nim Kidd, director of the Texas Department of Emergency Management, said Texans should fill out the state’s damage assessment report, which is used with the goal of getting more government aid.
Tovar said when she left her apartment last Monday she expected to be back in a few days. Instead, the carpets and walls of your home have been soaked for the past seven years.
“There are times when I’m upset or crying because I’m in a vulnerable situation that I’m not used to because I’m a very independent person,” said Tovar. “I have to go somewhere, my children have to stay somewhere, that really gets me through.”
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