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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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