Depending on the size of the disaster, additional assistance may be made available from government and/or nonprofit, volunteer and faith-based organizations. Although disaster assistance programs are not designed to return you to pre-disaster condition, they may help you begin the recovery process.
On this page, you will find a list of resources that may become available in your community after a disaster for which you and your family may qualify.
Homeowners, renters, and business owners should report disaster damages through the Individual Assistance – State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT)
In the event of a disaster, Texas citizens should continue to monitor local media and news outlets for weather updates, emergency notifications and follow guidance from local officials.
ALL EMERGENCIES AND LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO 911.
Insurance is the first resource in recovering from a disaster. Contact your insurance agent or company representative to report your losses, review your coverage, and answer any questions. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) also provides disaster-related insurance information and preparedness information on their website. For more details, visit: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/disasters.html
Wind Insurance: Texas Windstorm Insurance (TWIA) (https://www.twia.org) was established by the Texas Legislature in 1971 in response to regional market conditions following Hurricane Celia in August 1970. The purpose is to provide windstorm and hail insurance on the Texas seacoast. TWIA is governed by Chapter 2210 of the Insurance Code.
Flood Insurance: National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (https://www.floodsmart.gov) aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
Other Types of Catastrophic Insurance: Catastrophic insurance protects businesses and residences against natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and against human-made disasters, such as terrorist attacks. These low-probability, high-cost events are generally excluded from standard hazard insurance policies, which makes catastrophic insurance necessary. The coverage homeowners should purchase must take into consideration the threats and hazards that exist within their region.
Individual Assistance Program (IA) is FEMA’s direct assistance through grants to supplement disaster damages not covered by insurance. Contingent on an Emergency or Disaster Declaration, IA is financial assistance and direct services for survivors who are uninsured and underinsured for necessary expenses and serious needs that help eligible residents get back on their feet towards recovery.
Both declaration types authorize federal disaster assistance, however the amount of assistance differs for each. See how a disaster gets declared.
In the event of a federally declared disaster, residents of impacted counties can register for individual assistance by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362. You can also email FEMA from the Disaster Assistance webform.
FEMA Disaster Recovery Center
A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may visit for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs.
There are two ways to find a DRC near you:
1. Use the DRC Locator to find addresses and DRC details. Find info like the hours of operation, services offered, and driving directions.
Text DRC and a Zip Code to 43362.Example: DRC 01234. Using this option doesn’t add you to any messaging service. It’s just like doing a search on the Web. (Standard text rates may apply.)
Rural Development Disaster Assistance provides home repair assistance not covered by insurance and if your income qualifies you may be able to obtain a loan from USDA. Contact a USDA-RD Customer Service Representative at1-800-414-1226 or 1-800-438-1832 (TDD/TTY Hearing Impaired Only). USDA-RDCustomer Service is available from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Central Time, Monday through Friday.
In the true spirit of Texans helping Texans, our neighbors and ordinary citizens, often arrive on-site at a disaster ready to assist. Yet because they are not associated with the existing emergency management response system, their offers of help are often underutilized and even problematic to established, organized and trained response and recovery efforts. Volunteers bring hope and much needed assistance to devastated communities, however, it’s crucial that volunteers engage as safely and efficiently as possible to best serve our communities and disaster survivors.
Volunteer with an affiliated organization! Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission. They are a statewide body that facilitates cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration of member organizations in all phases of disaster and to maximize member impact. Texas VOAD has a wide variety of partner and associate members able to serve disaster impacted communities. There are many organizations and faith-based groups, each with a specific mission and ability to respond.
Knowing what is needed, where it is needed, and getting it there at the right time is the key. Critical needs change rapidly.
Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase goods or services through businesses local to the disaster, which supports economic recovery.
Before collecting disaster donations, confirm the need with the local office of emergency management and remember:
A Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG) is a collaborative network of local individuals, businesses, faith-based and nonprofit organizations, philanthropic funders, and other recovery partners who work together to provide the money, volunteers and materials needed to address unmet disaster survivor needs.
LTRGs are as varied in their structure as are the communities in which they work. The personality and operations of each group is unique and reflects local needs, available resources, cultural diversity, leadership style, and community support. No matter how a group is structured or what it calls itself, the goal is the same: to unite recovery resources with community needs in order to ensure that the most vulnerable in the community recover from disaster.
Contact email@example.com for more information on long term recovery groups.
Small Business Administration (SBA) offers disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster. You must be in an SBA declared disaster area to be eligible for SBA disaster assistance. You can check disaster declarations to locate disaster areas by state and territory.