Gov. Rick Perry today announced $9,695 in grant funds to San Augustine County from the Texas Disaster Relief Fund to assist the community in addressing unmet disaster-related needs as a result of Hurricane Rita. The grant funds can be used for such purposes as food and medicine, repairs to damaged homes and household goods, relocation expenses, and crisis counseling.
The funds awarded to San Augustine County are part of more than $570,000 in awards being provided to Chambers, Galveston, Liberty, Orange, San Augustine and Walker counties. In addition to those grants, another $1 million in grant funds were donated specifically to assist Jefferson County in its efforts to recover from Hurricane Rita. Grants to other counties impacted by Hurricane Rita are pending. The grants are awarded to the counties under a formula based on the number of disaster assistance applications in each county.
"I am pleased that the Disaster Relief Fund can help the citizens who are in such great need after the hurricanes, especially as we enter the holiday season," Perry said. "I am proud that so many companies and individual Texans generously donated to help their neighbors."
Perry established the Texas Disaster Relief Fund in September to provide assistance to citizens and communities in need after Hurricane Rita. The Fund was designed to compliment rather than duplicate existing relief resources such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), insurance, and other non-profit groups.
To be eligible for Texas Disaster Relief Fund grants, each county must establish an Unmet Needs Committee, or activate an existing donations management committee already established as part of their emergency management plan. These committees will review requests for financial assistance and also will be encouraged to seek out local charitable organizations that may serve as a clearinghouse for matching individual or family needs with local resources. Committees will apply to their county for funds.
Maximum awards that will be granted are:
• $1,250 to an individual;
• $1,900 to a household of two persons;
• $$2,300 to a household of three;
• $2,750 to a household of four or more;
• Variable amounts to local charitable organizations, up to the amount of a county’s grant allocation.
Texas Disaster Relief Fund grants will be administered by the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, which also administers a number of federal disaster recovery grants for the state. Funds will be distributed in two increments: 75 percent will be awarded as soon as a county formally accepts the grant award it will received, based on the formula; the remainder will be distributed once a county verifies it has distributed funding under the first installment.
Counties also will be require to provide reports detailing the number of grants, the amount of each and how the funds were used. All Texas Disaster Relief Funds must be distributed by May 2006.
Individuals or businesses that would like to contribute to the Fund can call 1-800-228-0504 or visit www.disasterrelief.governor.state.tx.us.