WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reminding Texans they are ready to assist those who may still be dealing with water damage after a historic round of winter weather that hit the state in mid-February.
Financial assistance is available through FEMA for temporary lodging, home repairs, even the biggest headache for many homeowners, damage from burst pipes.
FEMA officials said Texans with uninsured losses should apply for individual assistance as soon as possible.
Nate Custer, Media Relations Specialist for FEMA, said even those with home owners insurance can apply for aid to repair issues their insurance may not address.
“It doesn’t take water to be very deep to create problems with carpet and drywall,” Custer said. “It may put some holes that can damage. So your home owner’s insurance may cover that, but it may not cover everything, so that’s why on a case-by-case basis, FEMA can look at grants and how to get you back and help you get back on your feet.”
FEMA officials said residents whose homes are insured should file their insurance claims prior to filing with FEMA, and FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance by federal law.
Types of assistance FEMA provides
Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover uninsured property losses, and
other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
For eligible homeowners and renters in a designated county, FEMA assistance may include:
Property — FEMA may assist with the repair of damage related to burst pipes as well as disaster-damaged heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, refrigerators, and stoves.
Other possible repairs that may be covered include:
- Disaster-related damage to electrical, plumbing or gas in the home
- Leaks in a roof that damage ceilings and threaten electrical components
- Disaster-damaged subfloor in essential occupied parts of the home
- Disaster-related broken windows
Lodging Expense Reimbursement (DR-4586-TX only) — Survivors who incurred uninsured lodging expenses due to utility outages only and did not have disaster-related damage to their homes may now be eligible for reimbursement.
Rental Assistance — Funds to rent alternative housing for applicants whose homes were made
uninhabitable by the disaster.
Personal Property Assistance — Funds for applicants to repair or replace essential uninsured disaster-damaged personal property, including property damaged by burst pipes.
Miscellaneous Items — Funds for certain items purchased due to the disaster. Reimbursement for generators is limited to a generator purchased during the event by the applicant to power medically required equipment after a utility outage.
Transportation Assistance — Funds for primary vehicles damaged by the disaster, including damage from fallen trees, power lines or vehicle accidents caused by unsafe driving conditions.
Medical and Dental Assistance — Funds for uninsured medical and dental needs or losses caused by the disaster, such as medically required items damaged by burst pipes or medical treatment needed due to exposure to below freezing temperatures.
Child Care Assistance — FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program can reimburse costs for childcare as a result of a household’s increased financial burden to care for children aged 13 and younger and/or children up to age 21 with a disability who need assistance with activities with daily living as defined by federal law.
What FEMA doesn’t provide
As previously mentioned, by law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.
FEMA cannot reimburse you for food lost due to a power failure; volunteer organizations in your community may be able to help.
FEMA does not help with energy or other utility bills. Residents seeking assistance are encouraged to contact their utility company for payment plans or deferred payment options.
FEMA does not cover insurance deductibles. However, when insured disaster-caused damage is less than the deductible, FEMA may provide assistance to help with the applicant’s needs.
How to apply for FEMA Individual Assistance
You can apply for FEMA’s Individual and Household Assistance program online. When applying online, be sure to select the cause of damage as snow/ice.
If you’re unable to register online, call their toll-free number (800) 621-3362 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.
When applying for assistance, have the following information available:
- Current phone number
- Address at the time of the disaster
- Address where you’re currently staying
- Social security number
- General list of damage and losses
If insured, be sure to have your insurance information available when you apply, including the policy number and the agent or company name.
Please find the full press release from FEMA below: