New housing development brings hope to survivors in LaGrange

AUSTIN, Texas – The Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team plans to bring hope to Hurricane Harvey survivors in LaGrange through a planned 64-home subdivision. The subdivision project, Hope Hill, is being funded and developed by the recovery team in collaboration with the nonprofits Samaritans’ Purse and Mennonite Disaster Services.  The goal of Hope Hill is to provide affordable housing to survivors whose homes along the Lower Colorado River flooded after Hurricane Harvey. The project will move residents out of the floodplain and onto higher ground.  Disaster survivors moving into Hope Hill...

NFIP Proof of Loss claim deadline is just weeks away

AUSTIN, Texas — The time for Hurricane Harvey survivors to file a National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) Proof of Loss claim is drawing to a close. The deadline to file for flood damages is one year from the date of their loss.  Harvey first made landfall in Texas on Aug. 25, 2017, with heavy rainfall and flooding occurring for several days after it hit. For this reason, the date of loss varies for property owners. NFIP usually requires policyholders to submit a Proof of Loss claim within 60 days from the date...

Mattress Mack turns showrooms into shelters

AUSTIN, Texas – As Hurricane Harvey approached Houston last year, thousands of people began gathering their emergency kits and mapping out evacuation routes. Not many Houstonians prepared the way Jim McIngvale did.  “We’d done a fairly decent job of preparing for this hurricane,” said McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, who is better known in the area as “Mattress Mack.” “We had rented about 20 of these 24-foot trucks with 26-foot beds on them, very high off the ground, to get through a lot of water.” What McIngvale hadn’t anticipated was that Harvey...

Kids: An Important Part of a Family Disaster Plan

AUSTIN, Texas – As September looms, children are looking forward to a new school year. September is also National Preparedness Month, a fine opportunity for parents to involve kids in creating a family disaster plan in case of emergency. Youngsters can be directly involved in putting together a family emergency preparedness kit and in making plans for the care of pets in case of disaster. Talking with kids about the dangers that families can face is an important first step toward preparedness. Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods or acts of terrorism are frightening to...

How FEMA’s Mitigation Programs Cut Losses in Disasters

AUSTIN, Texas – It has been estimated that for every dollar spent on hazard mitigation, six dollars are saved when trouble strikes. So, whenever the president signs a major disaster declaration for any state, territory or tribal nation, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is automatically triggered for the entire jurisdiction. HMGP authorizes the spending of funds in any area designated by the governor or chief to alleviate the potential damage from future disasters, thus reducing or eliminating the danger to people and buildings and the potential costs of dealing with such...

If You Need Disaster Assistance, Deadline to Apply is Less Than 30 Days Away

AUSTIN, Texas— If you are a survivor from the severe storms and flooding that occurred from June 19 – July 13, 2018, and your home is still not safe, sanitary and functional, the deadline to apply for aid is Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018,  less than 30 days away.  Even if you have insurance, you can apply for disaster assistance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but if you are underinsured, you may receive help after your claims have been settled. Applying for disaster assistance is a two-step process that involves FEMA help and...

August 8, 2018

FEMA Daily Operations Briefing for August 8, 2018 FEMA Daily Operations Briefing, August 8, 2018 Significant Activity – August 7-8 Significant Events: Wildfires; Hurricane Hector Preparations Tropical Activity: Atlantic – Subtropical Storm Debby Eastern Pacific –Hurricane John (CAT 2); Tropical Storm Kristy; Remnants of Ileana (FINAL) Central Pacific – Hurricane Hector (CAT 3) Western Pacific – No activity affecting U.S. interests Significant Weather: Flash flooding possible – Southwest; Southern Rockies; Southern Plains to Lower Mississippi Valley; Central Appalachians Elevated fire weather – southern CA Red Flag Warnings – WA and southern...

If You Didn’t Register With FEMA, You Didn’t Register

AUSTIN, Texas— If you were affected by the severe storms and flooding of June 19 – July 13, 2018, and need federal assistance, and you didn’t register directly with FEMA, you are not registered.  To be considered for aid from FEMA, you must register by going online to https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or by visiting a disaster recovery center. The deadline to register for disaster assistance from FEMA for Hidalgo, Cameron and Jim Wells County flood survivors is Sept. 4, 2018.   Two common misconceptions regarding registering are:Applying for disaster assistance with other agencies or...

HUD-Assisted Residents in Hidalgo, Cameron and Jim Wells Counties May be Eligible for More Aid

AUSTIN, Texas – Survivors in Hidalgo, Cameron or Jim Wells County that were impacted by the recent severe storms and flooding and were receiving rental assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) prior to the disaster, may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA.  When a HUD-assisted resident's home becomes unlivable, HUD stops paying rental assistance for that residence. The survivor may then apply for FEMA disaster assistance.  Eligible survivors include those who were:Living in HUD-assisted public housing.Living in a privately owned apartment that provides rental assistance...

FEMA Disaster Aid Based on Individual Needs

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas residents who suffered damage or losses in the severe storms and subsequent flooding that occurred from June 19 through July 13, 2018 should know that their eligibility for disaster assistance will be based on their individual circumstances and needs. The amount and type of housing assistance an individual receives could be completely different from his or her neighbors, even though the damage appears to be similar. For example, one homeowner might have more extensive insurance coverage than the homeowner next door, which could equal more or less aid...