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Disaster assistance available for Texans both online or by telephone

Published on 7 August 2010
FEMA, help that covers all basic needs after facing disaster
To date, Hurricane Alex has caused
$1.8 billion of damage 

FEMA encourages disaster victim to apply for disaster assistance.

Both a toll-free registration telephone number and online registration are now operational for homeowners, renters and business owners in the Texan counties that have suffered property damage or loss from Hurricane Alex. These counties include Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Maverick, Starr, Val Verde, Webb and Zapata.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourage those affected by the disaster to apply for assistance immediately by visiting their website or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), operational daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CST) seven days a week, until further notice.

Those with speech or hearing impairments may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. In addition to the online and phone options, anyone with a web-enabled mobile phone can register by accessing

In response to a request from Governor Rick Perry, President Obama signed a major disaster declaration designating eight Texas counties eligible for federal aid to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners.

The declaration makes a wide range of programs available to residents, such as funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or assistance programs.

FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only

When applying for help, be sure to have the following information available:

  • Your current phone number;
  • 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 damages and losses you suffered;
  • If insured, the name of your company or agent and your policy number;
  • General financial information; and
  • Bank account coding if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit.

FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate applicants for their entire loss. If an applicant has insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under the insurance policy.

Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other help may come in the form of loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes are also available to repay or replace damaged or destroyed property. For small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) helps meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. 

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