Texas and Federal Resources for Hurricane Harvey Survivors
On August 25th, President Trump issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Texas making federal funds available for emergency work and individuals and businesses owners who sustain damage as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
Gov. Greg Abbott also issued a disaster proclamation for 30 Texas counties in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall. On August 26, he amended the proclamation to add 20 more counties. The complete list of counties include: Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bee, Bexar, Brazos, Brazoria, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lee, Lavaca, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Waller, Walker, Washington, Wharton, Willacy, and Wilson.
Those affected by Hurricane Harvey can find recovery-related resources with the following agencies:
State Bar of Texas Legal Hotline – (800) 504-7030 – The toll free number is answered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. It is designed to connect low-income families affected by a disaster to legal aid providers who can help with replacing lost documents, insurance questions, landlord-tenant problems, consumer protection issues (such as price gouging and avoiding contractor scams). Callers can leave a message any time. Texans who qualify will be matched with a Texas lawyer who has volunteered to provide free, limited legal help.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – Apply for assistance here. Download the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mobile app for a list of open shelters in your area (along with directions), where to talk to FEMA in person, apply for assistance, weather alerts from the National Weather Service, and safety tips. The app is available in English and Spanish. You can call 1-800-621-3362 for FEMA Disaster Assistance.
Airbnb is offering Hurricane Harvey survivors, as well as relief workers and volunteers, free short-term lodging. The disaster relief program was activated in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. Click here if you are looking for lodging or if you would like to offer space free of charge.
Price Gouging – State law prohibits price gouging during a declared disaster. If you feel that you are being unfairly charged for goods or services (such as water, batteries, food, gasoline, towing, generators, etc.) you can file a complaint here.
AlertHouston – Houston Emegency Updates provides real-time information to Houston residents, buisnesses, and visitors when emergencies occur. Information includes school closures, weather information, power outages, red cross shelter locations and FEMA assistance. You can call 3-1-1 or 713-884-3131.
Texas Department of Insurance Customer Help Line– If you need information, have a complaint, or need to locate an agency, call the Help Line at 1-800-252-3439.
TxDOT Statewide Road Closures – 800-452-9292. Please remeber, Turn around, don’t drown.
DisasterAssistance.Gov – This site procides disaster survivors with information, support, services and a way to appy for disaster assistance through data sharing between federal, tribal, state, local and private partners.
Government Benefits Search – Provides links for SNAP, Medicaid, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, School Lunch Program, and TANF.
Register yourself as safe. Visit the American Red Cross Safe and Well site to let friends and family know that you are safe. Concerned family and friends can also search for a list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well”.
Disaster Stress Line – To talk to a professional who can help you cope with the emotional distress from the storm. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. It is a 24/7 national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
American Red Cross – (800)HELP-NOW