Disaster assistance has been made available in Harrison, Smith and Upshur counties to help survivors of the historic wildfires begin the process of recovery. The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) added Smith County to the list of counties eligible for assistance on Friday, said County Judge Joel Baker, Emergency Operations Manager.
Homeowners, renters and businesses in the affected counties are encouraged to register with FEMA. The application process is simple, but crucial, as FEMA may provide assistance that can address specific needs.
“Assistance is now available for individuals in three more counties to get them started with their recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes of FEMA. “Survivors in all 16 designated counties should register with FEMA as soon as possible,” he said.
Disaster assistance may include grants that help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs or other serious disaster-related expenses, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs that are not covered by insurance.
Low-interest disaster loans may also be available from the U.S. Small Business Administration that compensate for losses incurred during the disaster that are not covered by insurance or other grants.
Survivors 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. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Operators are available by phone from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Smith County will set up a disaster assistance station to provide citizens with help filing for FEMA aid. The Disaster Recovery Center for filing for individual disaster assistance will be at the Emergency Operations Center at 11325 Spur 248, Tyler, TX. The DRC will be open for people to file directly with FEMA only from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, October 3 - 4.
From Smith County