Disaster Recovery Centers to Close on Saturdays

AUSTIN, TX - The nine remaining FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers will no longer be opened on Saturdays, but will still serve residents affected by Hurricane Ike during regular business hours Monday through Friday.

Four of the disaster recovery centers are located in Harris County - three in Houston and another in Seabrook. The three Galveston County disaster recovery centers are in Galveston, Texas City, and Bacliff. One center is located in Beaumont and another in Orange. Eight of the disaster recovery centers will continue to be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. In Texas City, the center is open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Residents may visit the recovery centers to speak with state and federal representatives about their FEMA applications for assistance, or to get help completing low-interest disaster loan applications from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Residents also can follow up on their applications by going online to www.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- and hearing-impaired. Both numbers are available 6 a.m. to midnight daily.

A listing of recovery centers is available at www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/pages/dr1791_drc_list.htm.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

The SBA is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations fund repair or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 1-800-659-2955, or TTY 1-800-877-8339.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.