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Local Interest

President declares disaster for Texas

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal aid has been made available to the State of Texas to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by wildfires beginning on August 30, 2011, and continuing.The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals inBastrop County. 

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

 

Kevin L. Hannes has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Hannes said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed. 

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.  The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Related Content
  • Texas is enduring its most severe drought since the 1950s, with bone-dry conditions made worse by weeks of triple-digit temperatures in many cities. Blazes have destroyed more than 5,470 square miles since mid-November, the typical start of the wildfire season.
  • The Texas Forest Service reported that more than 50 separate fires had burned through some 30,000 tinder-dry acres, causing widespread damage to neighborhoods across eastern and central parts of the state. At least two people were killed.