Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry: Presidential Disaster Declaration Approved For Maverick, Moore and Swisher Counties

Wednesday, May 02, 2007  •  Press Release

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today announced that a federal disaster declaration for Maverick, Moore and Swisher counties has been approved by President George W. Bush as a result of tornadoes and severe storms that have devastated those areas. The approval came Tuesday night.

“This disaster declaration means that much needed assistance is on its way to these counties,” Perry said. “This is welcome news to these communities who can now begin rebuilding their homes and businesses.”

The Federal Stafford Act makes Texans in these counties whose homes and properties were destroyed or damaged by the storms eligible to receive individual assistance. Individual Assistance programs, which help individuals and families who are not covered by insurance, can include financial assistance, temporary housing, tax relief, legal services, crisis counseling and Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

The disaster declaration covers damages incurred April 21, when storms and tornadoes struck the City of Cactus in Moore County and the Tulia area in Swisher County, and April 24, when tornadoes struck areas around Eagle Pass in Maverick County. Perry immediately directed officials with the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management to activate search and rescue teams and deploy a variety of state resources in response to the storms. The governor issued a state disaster proclamation for these three areas on April 25. The disaster declaration became effective May 1, 2007.

Other assistance programs made available with a Presidential Disaster Declaration include:

  • Disaster Housing Assistance may include funds for repairs, providing temporary housing, rental assistance or reimbursement for hotel/motel lodging costs for residents who lost their homes.
  • The Individual and Households Program may provide for necessary expenses and serious needs not met by insurance, loans or other forms of assistance, which may include medical, dental and funeral expenses.
  • The Small Business Administration provides low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the disaster.
  • Crisis counseling is available to anyone in the designated disaster area.
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance is administered by the Texas Workforce Commission and provides benefits for up to 26 weeks after a disaster declaration to persons who lost their jobs directly due to the disaster.
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