3 counties in the Big Country approved for individual assistance from FEMA, Taylor excluded

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)  – Three counties in the Big Country were approved for Individual Assistance from FEMA. However several counties in West Texas were excluded, including Taylor County.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a press release Saturday afternoon, saying “homeowners and renters in the 77 counties designated for individual assistance who sustained damage may now apply for disaster assistance with FEMA.”

Out of those 77 counties, there are only three from the Big Country.

  • Brown
  • Scurry
  • Stephens

Texas House Rep. Stan Lambert provided an update via Facebook live Saturday afternoon. “Unfortunately President Biden and his administration only issued individual assistance to 77 out of the 254 counties in our great state of Texas,” said Texas House Rep. Stan Lambert.

Additionally, the Texas House Representative said that he has been in contact with Congressman Jodey Arrington’s office and staff, as they are trying to get it worked out as soon as possible.

“Our people are hurting just as much as other people around the state, I have asked and we request President Biden to reconsider and include all West Texas counties, including the Big Country, in the individual disaster declaration so we can help recover and provide grant assistance and other forms of assistance and resources to West Texas.”

Congressman Arrington said they continue to work to ensure appropriate assistance becomes available.

“Along with my friend Rep. Stan Lambert, who has been tirelessly working for the people of Abilene, my office and I have been engaging with local and county officials across district 19. My team and I have been coordinating logistics, where appropriate, with FEMA and TDEM to ensure folks receive assistance as it becomes available,” said Congressman Jodey Arrington. “Additionally, my colleagues in the Texas congressional delegation are preparing to send a bipartisan letter to President Biden to ensure that relief is sent to all 254 counties across the state of Texas.” 

Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams added that Congressman Jodey Arrington is working with Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls in West Texas. “To be reconsidered to have an opportunity for individuals to participate in the FEMA program.”

BigCountryHomepage reached out to FEMA regarding the lack of counties from West Texas in the list of counties designated for individual assistance. The organization said that additional designations may be made after further assessments.

Taylor County

The Texas Department of Emergency Management is requesting all residents and/or businesses to please fill out the Texas Disaster Impacts Self-Reporting Tool (click link) in efforts to assess the damages in Taylor County, Texas, and statewide for potential Individual Assistance. The more reported surveys of damages shown with pictures, the greater the impact and severity of our situation.

How to apply for individual assistance:

Texas homeowners and renters in the 77 counties designated for individual assistance who sustained damage may now apply for disaster assistance with FEMA.

If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

The counties are: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:

  • A current phone number where you can becontacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name

If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.

Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

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