Caldwell County residents can apply for FEMA assistance for damage from winter storm
By Kristen Meriwether, Editor LPR
President Joseph Biden partially approved the State of Texas’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration, Governor Greg Abbot announced in a press release on Saturday.
Governor Abbott had applied for both Individual Assistance and Public Assistance for all 254 counties in the State of Texas. The Biden administration approved the request for Individual Assistance in 77 counties and Public Assistance in all 254 counties. Caldwell County, which issued a disaster declaration on Feb. 16, was among the counties included in the Individual Assistance.
“I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state,” Governor Abbott said in the release. “While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need. The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”
The approval gives Caldwell County residents the ability to apply for individual assistance from FEMA to provide them funding to fix damages to their homes that are not covered by private insurance, Governor Abbott said at a press briefing on Friday.
According to federal law, FEMA cannot cover benefits covered by your insurance, only what is not covered by the insurance.
“You must first look to your insurance company that covers your property,” Governor Abbot said at the Friday press conference. “If you are, however, not covered by insurance, we are working both with FEMA—under the major disaster declaration—to make sure you get access to funds as quickly as possible.”
The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.
If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:
- A current phone number where you can be contacted
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
- Your Social Security number, if available
- A general list of damage and losses
- If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name
FEMA advises taking photos of the damage, and begin the cleanup process now. Keep all receipts related to cleanup and repair.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339)or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.