More Than $1 Billion in Federal Funds Approved for Texas Survivors

Three weeks after the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that $1.09 billion in federal funds have been provided directly to Texans to aid in their personal recovery.

The funds include grants to households from FEMA, claims payments from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“This is a major milestone in our collective effort to support Texans in their recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes. “A billion dollars is going directly to survivors of Hurricane Harvey three weeks after the President declared a major disaster. This will help people get started rebuilding their lives. The speed of this assistance is historic for Texas.”

“SBA’s disaster assistance employees are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible,” said SBA Acting Regional Administrator Dorothy Overal. SBA representatives continue to meet with business owners and residents at all State of Texas/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers and five SBA Business Recovery Centers throughout the impacted area to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process, help them complete their application and close their approved loans. For a list of locations, visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster.

As of Sept. 17, 2017:

  • FEMA approved more than $333 million in grants for eligible individuals and families in 39 counties for housing assistance, including emergency home repairs, replacement and rental assistance.
  • FEMA approved more than $146 million in grants for replacement of essential personal property and help with medical, dental, legal and other disaster-related expenses.
  • NFIP paid more than $347 million to policyholders in advance payments to expedite the recovery process.
  • SBA approved more than $265 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.

Ten counties with the highest FEMA household assistance totals as of Sept. 17, 2017:

  • Harris County, $198.6 million
  • Galveston County, $44.7 million
  • Fort Bend County, $22.2 million
  • Aransas County, $18.4 million
  • Brazoria County, $15.8 million
  • Jefferson County, $14.2 million
  • Orange County, $13.3 million
  • Chambers County, $12.7 million
  • San Patricio County, $9.9 million
  • Nueces County, $9.6 million

In addition, FEMA’s Public Assistance Program approved $181 million for local and state agencies to reimburse the costs of debris removal and emergency response.

FEMA also made $516 million in mission assignments to more than two dozen federal agencies to assist in response and recovery operations. The agencies include: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Customs and Border Protection, Corporation for National and Community Service, Defense Logistics Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Protective Service, General Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Occupational Health & Safety Administration, National Park Service, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service.

Residents who experienced disaster-related, under-insured losses in the following counties should register for assistance with FEMA: Austin, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton Counties.

Registration is easy:

  • Online at gov.
  • Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
  • Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: gov/mobile-app.

Generosity Saves Thousands of Animals, Donations No Longer Needed

As of September 18, Animal Supply Points established after Hurricane Harvey by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension have closed and are no longer accepting donations.

In the first two weeks after the storm, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension helped establish, staff and collect and distribute supplies for 13 Animal Supply Points, fielded nearly 5,000 phone calls from across the country from people who want to donate hay, feed and supplies, and coordinated daily with Texas Department of Emergency Management, Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas Army National Guard and agriculture industry partners to get supplies to where they were needed.

Most animals have now either returned to their owners or relocated to longer-term care arrangements, so the Animal Supply Points have closed and donations are no longer being accepted.

More information about animal shelters or other donation options can be found through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Hay Hotline: www.texasagriculture.gov/Home/ProductionAgriculture/HayHotline.

FEMA Authorizes Clean and Removal Assistance

FEMA has authorized Clean and Removal Assistance (CRA) for all designated counties in Texas for homeowners with disaster-related real property damage that do not qualify for Home Repair Assistance because the damage did not render the home uninhabitable.

This assistance is intended to prevent additional loss and potential health and safety concerns and reduce contamination from floodwater.

Clean and Removal Assistance is awarded as a one-time payment per household. This amount represents the average cost of cleaning, sanitizing and removing carpet in a flooded dwelling in the designated area.

CRA payments are part of FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program. Applicants must register with FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov and meet all eligibility requirements. An inspector must verify that floodwater caused the damage to at least one item in the home.

Work Sessions For Local Officials To Be Held This Week

John Sharp, Commissioner of the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas, will be holding work sessions with local officials in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey in the coming week.  The purpose is to bring together agency resources to answer questions and provide assistance.  Mayors, county judges and legislators in the area are invited to attend any of the meetings listed below that are close enough for their convenience. At the working sessions, Governor Abbott’s office, officials from FEMA, the Division of Emergency Management, the General Land Office (CDBG), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other agencies involved in the rebuilding effort will be in attendance.

If possible please select the session that works for you and let Commissioner Sharp know you’ll be there by contacting Rebuild Texas.

 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017:

Meeting in Fort Bend County

9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location:
Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Academy
1521 Eugene Heimann Circle
Richmond, TX 77469
  
Meeting in Port Arthur
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location:
Economic Development Office
501 Procter Street
Port Arthur, TX 77640

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017:

Meeting in Harris County

9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location:
University of Houston
Hilton – Shamrock Room
4450 University Drive
Houston, TX 77204

MAP

 

Thursday, September 21, 2017:

Meeting in Rockport

9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location:
Aquarium Education Center
702 Navigation Circle
Rockport, TX 78382

 

Meeting in Victoria
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location:
Victoria College
Emerging Technology Complex
7403 Lone Tree Road
Victoria, TX 77904

Community Spotlight On La Grange

Schmeckenfest 2015

“We’re open for business.”

That’s the message from the small Texas town of La Grange in Fayette County along the Colorado River that thrives on tourism. In the aftermath of flooding from Harvey when communication was difficult, the Facebook page for the La Grange Main Street & Tourism Bureau became an essential community bulletin board, coordinating food distribution and volunteers as well as posting health and safety notices. La Grange officials contacted their counterparts in New Jersey for lessons learned after Hurricane Sandy and developed a quick recovery action plan. Though more than 300 families are displaced and about 40 small businesses remain closed due to extensive flooding, the historic district is open and ready for visitors.

Weekly Update #1

In every community I’ve visited since Hurricane Harvey first made landfall, I’ve been struck by the remarkable resilience of our local leaders and the people they serve. True strength of character is revealed when tested by adversity, and we are witnessing the incredible strength and spirit of Texas across the Gulf Coast region and beyond.

Our mission is clear. We will help displaced Texas families become whole. We will help our communities rebuild. We will act swiftly and cut through red tape. And we will improve the lives of all Texans by ensuring the continuing economic pre-eminence of the Lone Star State.            

– Governor Greg Abbott

Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas:

  • Governor Abbott and Commissioner John Sharp visited with local officials in a three-day, five-city tour.
  • Each county judge and mayor has a Texas A&M University System employee assigned to them to serve as their liaison.
  • RebuildTexas.Today launched as an additional information source for local officials.

Individual Assistance:​​​​​​​

  • More than 735,000 individual assistance applications have been received by FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • More than $378 million in emergency funding has been issued.
  • The Small Business Administration has issued $172 million in small business loans.
  • The General Land Office will lead the state’s short- and long-term housing recovery efforts.

Jobs:​​​​​​​

  • $30 million in grant funding is available to local officials to create temporary jobs to aid in recovery efforts.
  • FEMA is hiring Texans for recovery jobs across a range of fields. Applications accepted at WorkInTexas.com.

Schools​​​​​​​:

  • As of today, almost all students have returned to class in their district or a neighboring school.
  • 52 schools remain closed due to catastrophic damages; 234 others have significant damage; 678 some damage.
  • A hotline is available for parents to call the Texas Education Agency with questions: (512) 463-9603.

Cutting Red Tape:

  • State agencies are extending deadlines and waiving late fees for occupational license renewals in the region.
  • Hotel and motel taxes remain suspended for relief personnel and victims of the storm statewide.

Rebuild Texas Fund:​​​​​​​

  • As of Sept. 10, donations to the Rebuild Texas Fund totaled $44 million. Donations from the Hand in Hand 2017 concert are being tallied. RebuildTx.org.