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Hurricane Harvey Information

Welcome to the official website of Refugio County! This site will stay up to date with news, events county updates for the convenience of our citizens. If you have questions please navigate to our Contact page and feel free to reach out.

Hurricane Harvey Updates

In an effort to centralize the flow of information all updates on drop-off points, distribution centers and timelines
for utilities will be kept here. Please note that any information contrary to what you see here is not accurate.


                                                                                                                      

TSA eligibility ends today for some survivors.

·         Eligible Hurricane Harvey survivors receiving Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) may receive an extension to stay in hotels through April 2 as they continue working toward a permanent housing solution. Key dates:

    • March 13 – Checkout date under current extension
    • April 2 – Eligibility review of all survivors remaining in TSA
    • April 23 – End of approved extension period for those approved beyond April 2

·         TSA participants will receive a phone call, email and/or text message advising them if they have continued eligibility for assistance through a participating hotel.

 

Survivors in hotels who are unsure of their continued TSA eligibility can:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY).
  • Log into their account on disasterassistance.gov/.
  • Visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC); for DRC locations and hours go to fema.gov/DRC.
  • Ask the hotel to look in the lodging web portal to see whether they have eligibility beyond the current checkout date of March 13.

Call 211 to get disaster case management assistance.

·         Survivors in need of disaster case management assistance should call 211.

·         Survivors who call the Immediate Disaster Case Management (IDCM) hotline (855-742-5989) will hear a message directing them to call 211.

·         Survivors who have open cases with IDCM will continue to receive assistance from case managers after March 13.

Direct Housing

The housing mission is federally funded, state-administered and locally managed. The State of Texas and local officials are leading the way in finding new solutions to help Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

As of March 11:

·         2,333 housed through the direct housing program

·         Direct Housing Maintenance Hotline: Survivors living in mobile homes and travel trailers provided by the GLO/FEMA Direct Housing program may call 877-503-6053 for assistance

The Partial Repair and Essential Power Program (PREPS) provides temporary repairs, such as water and power restoration, allowing homeowners to remain in their homes as they complete permanent repairs to their homes. To learn more, call: 888-610-1622, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday.

Individuals & Households Program (IHP)

Individuals and families in 41 counties are eligible for federal disaster assistance through IHP.

As of March 12:

·         Survivors have received more than $13.3 billion in state and federal disaster assistance

·         Individuals and Households Program (IHP) approved: $1.58 billion (+ $1.2 million from previous day)

·         Housing Assistance (HA) approved: $1.19 billion  (+  $644,834 from previous day)

·         Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved: $388 million (+ $621,355 from previous day)

·         Total applications approved: 371,412, an eligibility rate of 50 percent (+ 33 from previous day)

·         FEMA inspections completed: 604,292 (+76 from previous day)

·         Total DRC visits: 272,010 (+ 341 from previous day)

Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA)

As of March 13:

  • Total TSA applicants checked in: 6,061 (-1,029 from previous day)
  • Total TSA rooms occupied: 7,054 (-1,207 from previous day)

·         Total hotels utilized: 951 (-60 from previous day)

Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs)

DRCs are one-stop shops for survivors seeking face-to-face help from state and federal agencies. Reasonable accommodations are made for survivors with disabilities or access and functional needs. Need help? Just ask.

To find the nearest DRC visit: fema.gov/drc, or text DRC along with a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA).

As of March 13, there are 14 DRCs open in the following nine counties to help survivors: Aransas (1), Brazoria (2), Galveston (1), Harris (4), Jefferson (2), Montgomery (1), Nueces (1), Orange (1) and San Patricio (1).

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA low-interest long-term disaster loans are the number one federal resource for recovery funding and offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to rebuild and recover.

As of March 12:

·         Total SBA applications received: 109,646 (+62 from previous day)

·         Total SBA loans approved for businesses and homeowners: $3.2 billion (+$9,093,400 from March 7)

National Flood Insurance Program

As of March 8:

·         91,301 policyholders have filed flood insurance claims in Texas

·         NFIP has paid $8.5 billion for Harvey claims in Texas

Find information on repairing and rebuilding at fema.gov/Texas-disaster-mitigation.   

Hazard Mitigation Outreach

FEMA mitigation specialists are visiting hardware and home improvement stores to offer information and tips on repairing and rebuilding stronger and safer.

County

Locations

Dates

Hours

Aransas

Aransas Pass Lowe’s (Store #2506)

150 S. FM 1069, Aransas Pass, 78336

Tues. March 13-Sat. March 17

 

8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

 

Brazoria

McCoy's Building Supply

1300 Hwy 288B, Richwood, 77531

Tues. March 13-Fri. March 16

Sat. March 17

 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Galveston

League City Lowe’s (Store #2821)

1655 W. FM 646, League City, 77573

Tues. March 13-Sat. March 17

8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Harris

Katy Lowe’s (Store #0098)

19935 Katy Freeway, Houston, 77094

Tues. March 13-Sat. March 17

 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Jefferson

Beaumont Home Depot (Store #501)

3910 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont, 77703

Tues. March 13-Sat. March 17

8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

For more information, visit the FEMA Mitigation website at fema.gov/texas-disaster-mitigation.

Public Assistance (PA)

The FEMA PA program reimburses state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations, in disaster declared counties, for eligible expenses related to disaster response and recovery.

·         More than $626 million in PA funding has been obligated to the state of Texas, as of March 12.

·         The Texas Division of Emergency Management has received 1,214 Requests for Public Assistance.

For more information about PA funding, visit: fema.gov/public-assistance-policy-and-guidance.


Disaster Recovery Center Relocates Within Nueces County

AUSTIN, Texas – A State of Texas/Federal Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Nueces County is relocating less than two miles away.

The center closes at the following site:

 

La Palmera Mall (parking lot)

5488 S. Padre Island Drive

Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 27-28, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A new DRC will open Thursday, March 1 at 9 a.m. in the city of Corpus Christi at the following site:

 

Old Mattress Store

4124 S. Staples St.

Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Hours: Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9.a.m. to 1 p.m.

Disaster recovery centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in counties included in the Texas federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey. Recovery specialists from the State of Texas, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies will be at the new DRC.

Disaster recovery centers are accessible to people with disabilities, and are equipped with assistive technology equipment such as amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices and magnifiers.

Video Remote Interpreting is available and in-person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.

American Sign Language interpreters are available to assist at a DRC. Requests can be made via text message at (470) 379-5943. Survivors will need to provide their name, the address of the DRC they will be visiting, the date and time of their visit and the type of sign language they are requesting. All requests for help should be made at least 24 hours in advance of a DRC visit to ensure assistance is available.

For more information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4332, or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FEMAharvey, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6, or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at www.dps.texas.gov/dem/.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.


Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday, March 6th,  that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted Texas’ request to extend the deadline for transitional Sheltering Assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

TSA helps displaced victims of the storm who are unable to return to their homes find short-term shelter in hotels or other temporary housing locations. The TSA deadline has been extended from March 13 to April 23 for about 5,500 households, with an eligibility review on April 2, according to an issued news release.

“It is tragic that so many Texas families are still unable to return home after Harvey,” Abbott said in the prepared statement. #8220;I want to assure all victims of the storm that Texas remains committed to helping them fully recover and getting their homes and communities rebuilt as quickly as possible. I thank our federal partners and FEMA for extending this deadline and helping provide this crucial assistance for those in need.”

Disaster victims with questions regarding their TSA program eligibility or status may contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for assistance.


 

Permanent Housing Checklist
For survivors of Hurricane Harvey, finding permanent housing can be a major task in their recovery process. Here’s a checklist to help create a plan of action and make finding permanent housing a reality.

1.  Consider What Permanent Housing Means to You Whether you are rebuilding an existing home or relocating to a new home or apartment,
take the time to think about what you want from your new home. Think about location, cost and services like schools, shopping and neighborhood safety. Rank your priorities, and make a list of must-haves.

2. Create a To-do List
Prioritize what steps need to be taken to meet your goal of permanent housing. A list can also help you manage your time and insure you don’t take on too many tasks at one time.

If you are looking for rental housing:
•  Document all attempts to find a rental home. Every time you call a landlord, write it down.
•  List the costs associated with renting like rental insurance, security deposits and utility payments.
•  Identify your options for paying the costs to get into a rental home. Contact FEMA if you need assistance or referrals.

If you are a homeowner rebuilding your home:
•  Make the necessary contacts and provide all required documentation to ensure timely processing of any insurance proceeds and/or assistance from available programs to repair or replace your home.
•  Ensure that you have all required permits and find a reliable and reputable contractor. (FEMA does not certify contractors.)
•  If you are unable to live in your disaster-damaged primary home while it is being repaired, you may be eligible for rental assistance to help you pay for temporary housing. Rental assistance may be used to rent a house, apartment, manufactured home, another dwelling, travel trailer or recreational vehicle.

If you have found temporary or permanent rental housing:
•  Update your status with FEMA by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center or calling the helpline at (800) 621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.
•  FEMA needs to know of any changes in your housing situation.

If you applied for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):
•  Check the status of your application. Call the SBA toll free at (800) 659-2955 (voice, 711 or VRS) or (800) 877-8339 (TTY)
•  If you were denied an SBA loan, you may be eligible for other federal assistance.
Call the FEMA helpline for more information.

Permanent Housing Checklist
For survivors of Hurricane Harvey, finding permanent housing can be a major task in their recovery process. Here’s a checklist to help create a plan of action and make finding permanent housing a reality.

3. Find Reliable Helpers to Assist You
Use friends, family, community organizations and case managers to help you handle the workload and do some of the work needed to find stable permanent housing.

Volunteer Organization Active in Disaster can help you locate resources in your community and help you fill unmet needs. To find resources in your community call the FEMA Helpline at (800) 621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week or Texas 2-1-1.

4. Immediate Disaster Case Managers serve as personal advocates for disaster survivors and can provide information on a variety of resources and services, including: Drafting a recovery plan, resources available in your area, assistance with appeals and additional sources of financial assistance.

To meet with an immediate disaster case manager visit a State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). To find your nearest DRC, visit www.fema.gov/drc, or text the word DRC along with your zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). For case management by phone, call (855) 742-5989, leave a message and a case manager will contact you within 24 hours.

5. Create a Budget and Save Receipts

Decide what you can afford and make adjustments as needed to achieve your goal. Then begin saving so you can quickly act when you find a housing solution that fits your needs.

It’s also important to document your recovery costs, especially if you’ve received grant money from FEMA. Make sure to save receipts for supplies, contractors and any other disaster-related expenses. This will help state, federal and voluntary agencies assess if you are eligible for additional assistance.

To find out more about creating a household budget, or for information for first time renters, visit https://www.consumer.gov/section/managing-your-money.

6. Document Important Information

Notebooks are an inexpensive tool that can be used to track your recovery.
Write down important dates, resources, contacts and anticipated expenses. Keep all the information in one place.


REFUGIO COUNTY VOLUNTEER RECEPTION CENTER

Amidst all the hustle and bustle during this short Christmas season, some of us are still dealing with damages to our homes and businesses in Refugio County. But as we move toward 2018, we are hopeful that the volunteers who have been around during the early recovery phase of the storm will continue to come to our county and help us rebuild.

One major resource available is the Refugio County Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) located at the Refugio Chamber of Commerce building (301 N. Alamo), across from Golden Chick and across from the Circle K with the Subway sign.

The VRC has been in existence exactly one month, and its major purpose is to help residents with unmet needs by matching them up with volunteers who want to help them. All you need to do, if you have storm damage to your residence, is to fill out a form, identifying what your unmet need is. We will do our best to match you up with volunteers who can help.

So, come by or call 361-230-1154. Ask for Dorey Williams or Ann Lopez. We are there 9 am until 4 pm on Thursdays. We are open on Fridays and Saturdays at 9 am and close at noon.

Samaritan’s Purse INTERNATIONAL RELIEF

Legal Aid For Disaster Victims

Asistencia Legal Para Victimas De Desastre


Navigating the Road to Recovery: Steer Clear of Fraud and Get the Facts

Beware of scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals who prey on vulnerable survivors after a disaster. The most common scams are phony housing inspectors, unscrupulous building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations, and fake offers of state and federal aid.

To guard against fraud:


o Ask to see an official photo ID.
o Question those who ask for sensitive information, such as your bank account or Social Security number. (A real FEMA inspector will know your registration number.)
o Don’t give money to a scammer who promises to speed up payment for insurance or disaster assistance.
o Keep in mind, there is NO FEE required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration or the state.
o If you suspect fraud, call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721.

• When hiring a contractor for home repairs, follow this guidance:

o Get a written estimate and get more than one estimate.
o Demand and check references.
o Use licensed local contractors backed by reliable references.
o Ask for proof of insurance.
o Get any guarantees in writing.
o Insist on a written contract and refuse to sign a contract with blank spaces.
o Don’t pay more than half the costs of repairs upfront.
o Make final payments only after the work is completed.
o Pay by check.
o If you are a victim of a home repair scam, call the Office of the Texas Attorney General at 800-252-8011. For information regarding disaster-related fraud and how to protect yourself, visit texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/disaster-scams.

• Get the facts. Interact with us, join the conversation and get updates on the FEMA Harvey Facebook page at facebook.com/FEMAHarvey/ and follow us @FEMARegion6. Visit FEMA.gov/Hurricane-Harvey/ for helpful fact sheets, such as Resources to Help You Recover and Beware of Fraud & Price Gouging.



Disaster Assistance for Noncitizen Nationals


Hurricane Harvey survivors who are in the United States legally, but are not U.S. citizens, may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals or qualified aliens to get federal monetary assistance:

•    Qualified aliens include those with lawful permanent residency (holders of “green cards”); those with petitions for relief based on domestic violence against spouses or children; and those subjected to severe forms of human trafficking.

•    Only one member of a household needs to be eligible to qualify the entire household for assistance. Parents and guardians, regardless of their status, may apply for assistance on behalf of a minor child who is a U.S. citizen.

•    Additionally, low-interest disaster loans may be available from the U.S. Small Business Administration for businesses of all sizes, nonprofits, homeowners and renters.


Need Continued Rental Assistance? Simply Take Two Important Steps

Hurricane Harvey survivors who have received temporary housing assistance from FEMA, yet still have a continuing need for that assistance, and are eligible for it, only need to take two steps at this point to receive additional federal funding:

1. Complete a Declaration of Continuing Need for Rental Assistance:
• Survivors with additional housing needs must complete the Declaration of Continuing Need for Rental Assistance form.
• This is a legal document mailed to the rental assistance recipient 15 days after the rental assistance grant is received.

 2. Return the Form to FEMA in the following ways:
• Mail the completed form to: FEMA, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville MD 20782-8055;
• Fax it to (800) 827-8112; or
• Upload it to your FEMA Disaster Assistance Center account, available online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Click on Check Status to login or create an account. If you did not receive the form or have questions, contact the FEMA Helpline at (800) 621-3362 (voice, 711 or Voice Relay Service) or TTY (800) 462-7585, or visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). To find the nearest DRC use: asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.

To be eligible for Continued Rental Assistance, you must meet the following conditions:
• You were awarded initial rental assistance and used it as intended.
• You are unable to return to your pre-Harvey residence because it is unlivable, cannot be accessed or is not usable due to the disaster.
• You do not have money for housing without assistance.
• You are not being given temporary housing help from any other source.

 Hurricane survivors can receive up to 18 months of Continued Rental Assistance, plus the security deposit, allowing them time to make progress toward finding long-term solutions.



How to Help Children Cope with Hurricane Harvey

Children in Texas may be struggling emotionally in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
They May Need More Help If …

• They had direct exposure to the hurricane and flooding, experienced an evacuation, saw injured or dying people, or were in situations in which their own lives were threatened.

• They suffered personal loss due to the death of – or serious injury to – a family member, close friend or pet.

• They are experiencing ongoing stress from their current situation, were living in a shelter, lost contact with their friends, lost things that are important to them, their parents lost their jobs or they are experiencing severe financial hardship.

 What Parents and Caregivers Can Do

• If you are calm and confident, you will encourage the child to feel less afraid.

• Be a good listener. Answer questions directly using words the child will understand.

• Give honest answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. Calmly provide answers, even if the question is painful to you.

• Be prepared to explain things over and over again. Sometimes children need time to process and understand events. Vary the words you use.

• Spend extra time with your children. Younger ones will need extra hugs and reassurance. Older children may need more time to express themselves.

• Adopt routines for work, school, play, meals and rest. Familiar schedules are comforting.
To talk to a professional about your children, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, visit www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

For more information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page, the FEMA Harvey Facebook page, the @FEMARegion6 Twitter account and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website.



 

FACT SHEET

Other Needs Assistance

AUSTIN,Texas –Other Needs Assistance grants, funded on a cost-share basis by FEMA and the State of Texas to
assist Hurricane Harvey survivors, can be used to repair or replace damaged personal property or to pay for
disaster-related necessary expenses and other serious needs.

These are necessities that help survivors prevent or overcome disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse conditions.

· The state provides these grants to repair or pay for:

o Disaster-related medical or dental costs.

o Disaster-related funeral and burial costs.

o Clothing; household items (room furnishings, appliances); tools (specialized or protective clothing
and equipment) required for your job; necessary educational materials (computers, school books,
and supplies).

o Fuels for primary heat source (heating oil, gas, firewood).

o Disaster-specified clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, air purifier and dehumidifier).

o A vehicle damaged by the disaster.

o Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster (moving and storing property to avoid additional
disaster damage while disaster-related repairs are being made to the home).

o Other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by the State and FEMA.

· Texans who suffered damage or loss from Hurricane Harvey and were referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration
(SBA) may lose income-based state-administered grants if they don’t complete and submit the SBA loan application.

o Some types of Other Needs Assistance—medical, dental and funeral expenses—are not SBA-dependent,
and completing the loan application is not required.

o The application is not required for survivors seeking temporary rental assistance.

————————————————————————————————

Please email refugiopios@gmail.com with donation details.


Refugio Disaster Fund

Gift cards and monetary donations are still being accepted at the Refugio Disaster Fund.

Refugio County Disaster Fund

Care of Rita Trojcak, Co. Treasurer

P. O. Box 333

Refugio, TX 78377

· Contact:

· Refugio PIOs atrefugiopios@gmail.com

· Ann Lopez, County Commissioner, Refugio PIO, glopez1008@stx.rr.com 361-543-8558

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