FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Closes January 15; Disaster Survivors Must Register for Federal Assistance by January 25
Registering directly with FEMA for October storm damage is the only way to ensure consideration for federal disaster assistance
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, set up to help survivors of the October storms and floods move through the federal aid application process and answer questions, will close at 5 p.m. Friday, January 15. FEMA’s helpline at 1.800.621.3362 will remain available to survivors with questions. The deadline to apply for federal assistance, which can be done by phone or online, is January 25.
Any resident of Hays County who had damage from the late October floods and storms should register with FEMA for assistance, even if they registered with any other relief group or agency, or registered previously with FEMA for the Memorial Weekend disaster.
Hays County Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith noted that no other agency shares personal information with FEMA, and even if survivors signed up with another agency, nonprofit or faith-based group, they must reregister directly with FEMA specifically for the October floods and storms event to be considered for any federal assistance program.
“Unfortunately, we’ve heard from some people who believed that signing up for federal assistance for the May disaster or with a local group providing aid meant they had also signed up with FEMA for the October damage and that’s not the case,” Smith said. “Survivors must register directly with FEMA, and I encourage them to do so even if they have insurance or feel their needs were taken care of by other sources. Sometimes damage such as mold doesn’t become visible for months and survivors may need assistance long after they think the damage has been resolved.”
Residents and business owners who had storm damage can register for FEMA assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800.621.3362 toll free until January 25. Multilingual operators are available. Applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800.462.7585 directly; those using 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) should call 800.621.3362. All toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) daily.
The DRC is located at the Hays County Government Center at 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos, 78666, just west of IH-35 near the railroad overpass at Wonder World Drive and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through January 15.
Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Low-interest disaster loans from SBA may be available to cover residential and business losses. Eligible survivors should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.