Your Damage Report is Needed to Help Secure Federal Aid; TX Military Airlifting Food, Water – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
The Texas Division of Emergency Management is asking all Texans damaged by the winter storm to create an online damage report that will help secure federal support. Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Defense flies food and water to those in need as the Texan Environmental Quality Commission works with laboratories to test water across the state.
TDEM boss Nim Kidd, together with Major General Tracy Norris from TMD and Toby Baker from TCEQ, gave an overview of the state’s recovery so far on Saturday afternoon.
At the press conference, Kidd mentioned that President Joe Biden partially approved the state’s disaster relief statement request for individual assistance, but only for 77 of the state’s 254 counties and a statewide request for public assistance.
“I thank President Biden for his assistance in responding to the effects of winter weather on our state,” said Governor Greg Abbott in a press release. “While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure that all eligible Texans have access to the help they need. Funds made under the Major Disaster Declaration can be used by Texans too Beginning to provide crucial help in repairing their houses and repairing property damage. ”
Several counties in North Texas have been included in the 77 counties permit, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis Hood, Johnson, Kaufman, Tarrant, and Wise. To apply for state assistance and see a full list of approved counties, visit Disasterassistance.gov and click Texas on the map.
For those in any of the 177 counties currently not eligible for individual assistance, Kidd said it was very important that these Texans fill out the state’s damage assessment report, which will hopefully be used to get more federal aid.
The state is using the QR code above to direct people to a self-reporting tool that they can use to conduct their own damage assessment. Click here to access the tool in this article.
Kidd said the state continues to provide food and water to Texans who are recovering from the storm. He said another half a million meals were on the way to Texas and that another million bottles of water would be distributed on Saturday.
Kidd said the state’s 331 mass care / warming centers are still open and will stay open until all people using these centers have reliable utilities (electricity and clean water) in their homes.
Maj. Gen. Norris said the Texas Department of Military is very active, using C-130, C-17, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters to haul food, water and other supplies across the state.
Norris said more than 3,200 soldiers and Airmen were working on the relief effort and that more will be added when reservists call their armory to see if they can help.
“These are citizen soldiers supporting Texas. That’s one of the jobs we do and they do it out there,” Norris said.
Local utilities are working around the clock to restore water supplies to all of the state’s water systems, according to Baker. Baker said there are around 1,400 systems across the state still testing water – those systems affect about 14.3 million people.
The TCEQ is helping local water departments find laboratories to test the water for cleanliness, and the EPA has set up three laboratories across the country to support this effort. He added that some communities with their own laboratories have offered to help smaller towns test their water.
Click here to learn how you can support North Texas Disaster Relief and make a donation to the American Red Cross.
Baker said the TCEQ will take full advantage of the winter event to learn from its mistakes and will review state and federal regulations to determine where it makes sense to harden the infrastructure to prevent such mistakes from recurring.
“We have never seen a winter weather event like this in recorded history in the state of Texas that I know of. Our water systems are really designed for heat. We have seen several flaws … Generators are built to operate in the US In the middle of summer when it’s hot outside, not when you’re in extremely cold temperatures for five to seven days, “Baker said. “So that was a great learning experience. I am not aware that there have ever been problems of this magnitude from the water system standpoint in the history of the state.”