Gov. Perry Announces Federal Disaster Declaration For 10 Texas Counties
AUSTIN - Governor Rick Perry announced today that President George W. Bush has declared ten Texas counties a major disaster. The federal declaration comes following a request from Perry on Wednesday for an expedited response to provide immediate assistance to areas of Texas hit by severe storms and flooding beginning July 1st.
The ten counties approved are Bandera, Bexar, Blanco, Comal, Gillespie, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Medina and Uvalde.
“The quick response from President Bush means federal emergency assistance will come quickly to Texans in the areas hit hardest,” Perry said. “With this assistance, the recovery process can begin for families and businesses devastated by heavy rains and flooding.”
This morning, Perry spoke with Joe Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to provide an update on conditions in Texas. Officials with the state’s Division of Emergency Management have also been in constant contact with FEMA to ensure the hardest hit areas in Texas would be eligible for immediate assistance.
Perry noted the federal disaster declaration by the President means that help may be available through a variety of state and federal programs to renters, homeowners and business owners who sustained losses as a result of the flooding.
The Division of Emergency Management of the Texas Department of Public Safety will immediately begin to coordinate activities with FEMA to provide assistance to Texans who qualify for the programs and whose needs are not met by private insurance or other resources.
The primary aid programs made available by the federal declaration include temporary disaster housing assistance, low-interest loans for repair and replacement of real or personal property and grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by other assistance programs. Residents of all 10 counties are eligible to apply for assistance.
Disaster Housing Assistance, administered by FEMA, is earmarked for individuals and families whose homes were destroyed or made unlivable as a result of the floods. The program provides for temporary accommodations or minimal home repairs to make a property safe, sanitary and secure.
Low interest loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters or business owners for the repair, replacement or rebuilding of disaster-damaged property.
Grants also are available through the Individual and Family Grant program for those who have serious immediate needs resulting from the disaster that cannot be met by other resources.
Perry urged residents who have sustained damage as a result of the recent storms and flooding, regardless if they are residents of the ten declared counties or not, to immediately call the FEMA Assistance toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (TDD 1-800-462-7585).
On Wednesday, Perry declared 29 Texas counties a major disaster and asked for an expedited response from the federal government. Counties that were not included in the expedited federal disaster declaration may still be added by FEMA in the future. In addition, damage assessments will be conducted in those counties and they may still be eligible for some form of federal assistance.
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