Houston Co. wildfire victims eligible for FEMA money

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (News release) - People in Colorado, Houston, Leon, Travis and Williamson counties in Texas whose homes or businesses were damaged or destroyed as a result of the recent wildfires can now register for federal and state disaster assistance.

Just days after a major disaster declaration was declared for Bastrop County, Individual Assistance (IA) is also being made available to these additional counties; this follows a review of damage assessments by officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM).

"We strongly encourage residents in all six counties -- Bastrop, Colorado, Houston, Leon, Travis and Williamson -- to register as soon as possible for federal disaster assistance," said Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) Kevin L. Hannes. "The sooner you register, the sooner you can possibly receive federal and state disaster aid."

Disaster assistance for eligible individuals may include:

  • Grants to help pay for temporary housing and home repairs to make a home habitable
  • Grants for serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance
  • Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Residents in Bastrop, Colorado, Houston, Leon, Travis and Williamson counties can register for assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov , via smart phone at m.fema.gov or by also calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. Specialists are available by phone from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time seven days a week.

Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) in other Texas counties continue; additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of the damage assessments.

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.