By Mark fleming
Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are in Chambers County to help connect residents who suffered damage from Tropical Storm Imelda to connect with sources of assistance.
Chambers County Public Information Officer Ryan Holzaepfel said the teams are going door-to-door in affected areas to answer questions about the kinds of assistance available, help survivors apply for financial assistance, update applicants’ contact information and help with referrals to disaster recovery partners.
Holzaepfel said that team members will wear different colors of shirts but all will have a FEMA logo and the team members will have official FEMA photo IDs.
FEMA inspectors do not ask for any money or financial information. They do not determine eligibility and their inspection does not replace an insurance company inspection.
The inspectors will confirm your identity, confirm your registration number, review your damage and have you sign documentation, he said.
Inspections occur after survivors register with FEMA. Homeowners and renters should make sure their contact information is up to date and have access to a telephone. You will need to have a photo ID and proof of ownership or a lease.
To apply for assistance, go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, the Chambers County Office of Emergency Management noted false information about the process is often passed along by social media or in-person conversations.
One falsehood that has circulated is that you must have had 18 inches of water in your home to register for assistance. That is not correct—register if you had any storm- or flood-related damage.
Another rumor is that you cannot register for FEMA assistance if you have insurance. Again, not true—you can register even if you have insurance.
If you have questions or hear other suspicious information circulating, you can contact Chambers County Emergency Management at OEM@chamberstx.gov.
East Chambers ISD
State Representative Mayes Middleton reports he is busy helping with the recovery effort. His chief of staff, Christopher Paxton, said Middleton was successful in getting the East Chambers ISD School Board to approve disaster re-appraisals Tuesday and lower property taxes for taxpayers who flooded.
While the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs does not provide direct assistance to individuals and households, it does provide funding to organizations that do.
For a list of organizations that may have assistance available, you can call the department between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-525-0657 or visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us.