In an effort to compile assistance to our Constituents affected by Hurricane Harvey, our Financial Assistance and Constituent Services Departments have come together in responding to your needs as quickly as possible.  This web page contains links we found for the situations we could imagine one might be going through in a disaster situation such as yours.  This first link is a direct link to an application for assistance and the second is for a questionnaire to help us improve emergency assistance services.

Hurricane Harvey ON Assistance Application
Hurricane Harvey Questionnaire

If you have no Internet access the number is 1-800-320-8742 
Austin Disaster Relief Network – 512-806-0800
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston – 713-874-6664
FEMA – 1-800-621-3362
Red Cross – 877-500-8645
Texas Association of Business – 512-637-7714
            Provides resources to business owners affected by the hurricane

Texas State Park is offering free camping to Hurricane Harvey evacuees

Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990
Harris County – 713-308-8580
            To help locate towed cars
RoweDocs – 800-921-0136
            Provides a list of resources to help with disaster relief
United Way Storm Recovery – 211
Disaster Clean-up – 1-800-451-1954 or 844-965-1386
National Flood Insurance Program – 800-612-3362 FEMA
Residential Debris & Damage Assessment Hotline – 713-274-3880


Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center
                  650 S. Griffin St
                  Dallas, TX 75202
Fairway Middle School
                  701 Witlow
                  Killeen, TX 76541
Edington Gym Bldg 35
                  2100 Memorial Blvd
                  Kerrville, TX 78028
Thomas Jefferson Middle School
                  2200 Jefferson Dr.
                  Port Arthur, TX 77642
                  8810 Jewella Ave
                  Shreveport, LA 71129
K Tarver Recreational Center
                  2902 Tilden
                  Laredo, TX 78040
Ben Garza Gym
                  1815 Howard St.
                  Corpus Christi, TX 78404
Lively Point Youth Center
                  915 N. O’Connor Rd
                  Irving, TX 75061
Caldwell High School
                  550 CO Rd 307
                  Caldwell, TX 77836
First Baptist Highlands
210 N. Magnolia St.
Highlands, TX 77562
Schulenburg Independent School
                  517 North Street
                  Schulenburg, TX 78956
San Marcos Activity Center
                  501 E. Hopkins
                  San Marcos, TX 78666
First Baptist Church
                  422 St. Paul St.
                  Gonzales, TX 78629
Christ Lutheran Church
                  86 Plantation Dr.
                  Lake Jackson, TX 77566
Nacogdoches Rec Center
                  1112 N. St.
                  Nacogdoches, TX 75702

The Zip Codes for the Houston area are as follows:  77001 thru 77598.
Texas Division of Emergency Management
5805 N. Lamar
PO BOX 4087
Austin, Texas 78773-0220
(512) 424-2138
(512) 424-2444 or 7160 FAX
Registering online at is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance since the event will last several days and the full scope of damages may not be evident until the storm has passed. If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call at 1-800-621-3362.
FEMA offers Individual Assistance after a disaster to help begin your recovery. Look at the steps and options available.
            People with Disabilities
Dallas has three open emergency evacuation· shelters -Samuel Grand Recreation Center, Walnut Hill Recreation Center, and Tommie Allen Recreation Center.
San Antonio - San Antonio Shelter Hub & San Antonio American Red Cross Shelter
Home Inspection
You will receive a call from FEMA within 10 days of submitting your application to schedule an appointment for a home inspector to visit you. In the event of a catastrophic disaster, an inspector may take longer to visit you.
After the Inspection
If you qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you:

  • A check by mail or a direct deposit into your checking or savings account, and
  • A letter describing how you are to use the money.

If you do not qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you:

  • A letter explaining why you did not qualify, and
  • An opportunity to appeal the decision.

I have more questions.
Follow the links embedded on this page or see the sections below for additional information. You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions library.

What Does Individual Assistance Cover?
While some housing assistance funds are available through our Individuals and Households Program, most disaster assistance from the Federal government is in the form of low-interest disaster loans administered by the Small Business Administration.  The Individuals and Households Program Unified Guidance is a single, comprehensive reference containing policy statements and conditions of eligibility for all forms of Individuals and Households Program (IHP) assistance
The following can be provided through the Individuals and Households Program:
Housing Needs

  • Temporary Housing (a place to live for a limited period of time): Financial assistance may be available to homeowners or renters to rent a temporary place to live. If no rental properties are available, a government housing unit may be provided, but only as a last resort.
  • Lodging Expenses Reimbursement: Reimbursement of hotel expenses for homeowners or renters may be available for short periods of time due to inaccessibility or utility outage if not covered by insurance or any other program.
  • Repair: Financial assistance may be available to homeowners to repair disaster-caused damage to their primary residence that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary, or fit to occupy.
  • Replacement: Financial assistance may be available to homeowners to replace their home destroyed in the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to help the homeowner with the cost of replacing their destroyed home.
  • Permanent or Semi-Permanent Housing Construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of help occurs only in insular areas or other locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible.

Other Needs
Assistance is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes:

  • Disaster-caused child care expenses.
  • Disaster-caused medical and dental expenses.
  • Disaster-caused funeral and burial expenses.
  • Disaster-caused damages to essential household items (room furnishings, appliances); clothing; tools (specialized or protective clothing and equipment) required for your job; necessary educational materials (computers, school books, supplies).
  • Fuel for the primary heat source (heating oil, gas).
  • Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, dehumidifier).
  • Disaster-caused damage to an essential vehicle.
  • Moving and storage expenses caused by the disaster (moving and storage of personal property while repairs are being made to the primary residence, and returning the property to the primary address).
  • Other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.
  • Other expenses that are authorized by law.

What If I Have Insurance?
You will have up to 12 months from the date you registered with FEMA to submit insurance information for review. We cannot provide money to individuals or households for losses already covered by insurance.
If you have not already contacted your insurance agent to file a claim, please do this as soon as possible. Failure to file a claim with your insurance company may affect your eligibility for assistance. After filing a claim, if any of the following situations occur, we may be able to provide some assistance:

  • Your insurance settlement is delayed. Delayed means a decision on your insurance settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed the claim. If a decision on your insurance settlement has been delayed, you will need to write a letter to FEMA explaining the circumstance. You should include documentation from the insurance company proving that you filed the claim. If you filed your claim over the telephone, you should include the claim number, the date when you applied, and the estimated time it will take to receive your settlement. Any help awarded to you by FEMA would be considered an advance and must be repaid to FEMA once an insurance settlement is received.
  • Your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your disaster-caused needs. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance and still have an unmet disaster-caused need, you will need to write a letter to FEMA indicating your unmet need. You will also need to send in the claim settlement documentation from your insurance company for review.
  • You have exhausted the Additional Living Expenses provided by your insurance company. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance for Additional Living Expenses (Loss of Use) and still need help with your disaster-caused temporary housing need, write a letter to FEMA indicating why you continue to have a temporary housing need. You will also need to provide documentation to prove used of Additional Living Expenses from insurance, and a permanent housing plan.
  • You are unable to locate rental resources in your area. The FEMA Helpline (1-800-621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585) can assist you in finding rental resources in the disaster area by searching online with you. If no resources are available in your county, then the helpline agent can help you search for resources in an adjacent county. 

What Happens During The Home Inspection?
After you have completed an application for assistance, an inspector from FEMA will need to visit your home to check disaster damages.  If you need accommodation such as a sign-language interpreter, contact the FEMA Helpline (1-800-621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585) to request services during your inspection.
First, it’s important to ask inspectors for their FEMA identification so you protect yourself from scammers. Inspectors are contractors, not FEMA employees, but they will carry a FEMA ID and they have passed a background check. Never give them credit card or bank account information  -- there is no fee charged for inspections and they do not collect this data. 
The on-site home inspection generally takes anywhere from 10-40 minutes.  A home inspection is needed to verify and assess the damages listed in your application.  Inspectors will record damages but do not make decisions for your assistance. Inspections will examine structural damage to your home but are not designed to capture every detail of damage. The inspector may take some photos of your home to document damages. They will also assess damage to necessary items such as the furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, and your utilities. Inspectors also gather information about other needs, such as lost or destroyed clothing, and damaged children's items. You should identify all known damage and tell the inspector if you have a septic system or well.  The inspector will not enter areas that are potentially unsafe.
When the inspector visits your home, someone 18 years of age or older who lived in the household prior to the disaster must be present. The inspector will ask to see:

  • Photo identification.
  • Proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence. (Visit our page on ownership and occupancy proof requirements for more information.)
  • Insurance documents: home and/or auto (structural insurance/auto declaration sheet).
  • List of household occupants living in residence at the time of disaster.
  • All disaster-caused damages to both real and personal property.

What Happens After The Home Inspection?
After your home inspection has taken place, a record of the disaster-caused damages is given to FEMA.  From that record, your eligibility for disaster assistance will be determined.
If you qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you:

  • A check by mail or a direct deposit into your checking or savings account, and
  • A letter describing how you are to use the money.

There are multiple categories of assistance, so it is possible to qualify for more than one. Your determination letter will specify the category of assistance.  Be sure to use the money as explained in the letter and keep records and receipts for at least three years, showing how you used the funds for disaster recovery.
If you do not qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you:

  • A letter explaining why you did not qualify, and
  • An opportunity to appeal the decision.

You will be informed of your appeal rights in the letter from FEMA.  Appeals must be delivered within 60 days of the date on your determination letter. Guidelines for appeals can be found in your determination letter.
If you were referred to the Small Business Administration:
You will receive a phone call to advise you of ways to apply for the Small Business Administration (SBA). An application from the Small Business Administration must be completed and returned in order to be considered for a loan, as well as for certain types of FEMA assistance. Small Business Administration representatives will be available to help you with the application at an open Disaster Recovery Centers near you or you can call (800) 659-2955.
If the Small Business Administration approves you for a loan, they will contact you. If they find that you cannot afford a loan, they will automatically refer you to FEMA’s Individuals and Households program. Your file will be reviewed to determine if you qualify for additional grant assistance.
How Do I Appeal The Final Decision?
If you receive a letter saying that you are ineligible or that your application is incomplete, this does not necessarily mean you will not receive help – you have the right to appeal the decision within 60 days of receiving mailed notification from us.
An appeal is a written request to review your file again with additional information you provide that may affect the decision.  You may appeal any decision provided by FEMA regarding your Individual Assistance.
Appeals may relate to your initial eligibility decisions, the amount or type of assistance provided to you, late applications, requests to return the money, or a denial of Continued Temporary Housing Assistance. Prior to requesting an appeal review, you should review your file with a FEMA Helpline agent at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA), or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585, or request a copy of your file from FEMA so you can understand why you received the decision you want to appeal.
Follow these steps to appeal the decision.

  1. Explain in writing why you think the decision about the amount or type of assistance you received is not correct. You, or your co-applicant, must sign the letter.
  2. If you choose to have a third party submit an appeal on your behalf, the appeal letter must be signed by the third party. Additionally, please include a statement signed by you authorizing the third party to appeal on your behalf.  
  3. To assist in identifying your registration, you should include your FEMA registration number (shown at the top of your decision letter), last four digits of your social security number, or full name.
  4. Please also include any supporting documents, such as contractor estimates, with your appeal request.
  5. Mail your appeal letter to:

FEMA - Individuals & Households Program
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
or you can fax your appeal letter to:
(800) 827-8112
Attention: FEMA - Individuals & Households Program
IMPORTANT: To be considered, your appeal letter must be postmarked within 60 days of the date of the decision letter. Remember to date your letters.

  • All appeals are reviewed.
  • Decisions usually are made within 30 days of receiving the request.
  • Additional information may be requested from you if FEMA does not have enough information to make a decision.
  • You will be notified by letter with the response to your appeal.

Do You Need A Copy Of Your File?
If you need information about your case, you, or someone from your household, may request a copy of the information by writing to:
FEMA - Records Management
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
If someone outside of your household is submitting the request for you, then the request also must contain a statement signed by you giving that person your authorization to request this information.
Your request letter for file copy information should include:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your application number
  • The damaged property address or current mailing address
  • Your date and place of birth
  • A statement of what information you want to receive
  • A statement of specifically who is to receive the information.
  • If the file is to be provided to a third party, include the full name and address of the third party.

The request must be signed, and must include one of the following:

  • Notarization or
  • The written statement "I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct"

Last Updated: 
09/02/2017 - 16:15
There are a lot of links on this page as well all related to Fema but different, such as Churches and local spiritual support
FEMA also offers financial assistance. Harvey victims may be eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance or Critical Needs Assistance, a one-time payment of up to $500 per
household. FEMA has also expedited payment for National Flood Insurance policy holders. Those who qualify could get up to $10,000.
FEMA's Disaster Assistance website can help you find local resources and applications for other types of aid.
Housing assistance with HUD commonly-asked-questions-about-federal-disaster-aid grants for relief won’t cover everything.
What victims can do now to protect their finances.
Apply for federal and local disaster assistance
If you've been unable to get to work because of a natural disaster, you can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. The Texas Workforce Commission is accepting applications now through September 27. Once you've applied, you have 21 days to submit the required documents. More information is available on the TWC website.

Related: How to avoid post-Harvey charity scams
TWC's director of communications Lisa Givens added that the organization "can offer a temporary income replacement in the form of Unemployment insurance benefits for eligible workers until they are able to get back on their feet."
FEMA also offers financial assistance. Harvey victims may be eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance or Critical Needs Assistance, a one-time payment of up to $500 per household. FEMA has also expedited payment for National Flood Insurance policy holders. Those who qualify could get up to $10,000.
FEMA's Disaster Assistance website can help you find local resources and applications for other types of aid.
Important Information also:
While House Bill 1774 — which takes effect Friday — doesn’t impact the claims process, it does institute new provisions related to when a claimant files suit against an insurance company.
Those provisions would decrease the chances that insurance companies would have to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys fees in full and protect insurance agents from being personally sued.
The law also changes the penalty interest rate insurance companies face for late payments if the policyholder files a lawsuit.
“There is no need to rush to file a claim,” state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, the Senate sponsor of the legislation, said this week in a statement. “Put your safety first. Do not return to seriously-damaged property unless you are informed that it is safe.”
The Texas Tribune spoke to Stephanie Goodman, deputy commissioner for public affairs for the Texas Department of Insurance, about what Harvey victims need to know before the new Texas law takes effect. The following is an edited and condensed version of the interview.
How do you know if you're impacted by HB 1774?
There’s a fear among some consumers that there’s a deadline they have to meet for filing a claim. HB 1774 doesn’t change how people file a claim or when they need to file. It doesn’t affect those timelines, who they contact or how long they have to submit a claim. That all remains unchanged.
HB 1774 only affects you if you’re going to file a lawsuit, which would happen if you can’t reach an agreement with your insurer. Our goal is to always make sure that the claims process goes as smooth as possible for the consumer so they’re paid fairly and as quickly as possible.
If you suffered property damage because of Harvey, how do you file an insurance claim if you have no access to electronics?
I can assure you that we’ve heard from insurers multiple times a day who say they’re ready to move into those [flood-affected] areas so that they can assist people in person. It may be a little longer before we can get into those most-affected flood areas, but there will be in-person help for people. Some insurers are also going to wear large shelters are set up.
I think one of the things for these victims to remember is that they may have to notify multiple insurers. That’s because homeowners policies don’t cover floods — you need a separate policy for that. And homeowners along the coast have windstorm policies for wind and hail damage.
Are certain types of damages covered under the bill?
The bill is not about damages, but there are certain policies that are exempt from the law and certain policies that it applies to. The law only applies to basic homeowner’s policies, but it doesn’t apply to claims that you would file with your windstorm policy or your flood policy.
A standard homeowner’s policy generally doesn’t cover flood damage, so if you’re in a floodplain or a flood-prone area, you would need a separate flood policy to cover that. You may have homeowners in these areas who are filing multiple claims with their different policies.
Is flooding often covered in homeowner’s policies? If not, how will that affect most Harvey victims?
A standard homeowner’s policy generally doesn’t cover flooding. You’d have to have separate policies for floods and windstorms. The cover page of your insurance policy should list the coverages.
If you have a mortgage and you’re in a flood zone, they’re going to require that flood coverage. However, with Harvey, there’s going to be a lot of people that have flood damage who are not in a flood zone. That is one of the concerns about Harvey. When you have widespread flood damage, we often have people who didn’t have flood coverage. That’s where other resources like the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s assistance comes in — which helps with uninsured losses.
FEMA will offer assistance to people in areas that were covered by the federal disaster declaration. In addition, the Small Business Administration can provide loans, even to individuals who were affected by the disaster. I’m sure that as the cleanup and recovery period progresses, we will learn that there are more resources available to the victims of Harvey, but that is certainly a big concern.
Catastrophic floods are nothing new for Houston. But the problem is going to get worse.
How do Texans officially file a claim?
It’s really as simple as calling your agent or insurance company. A lot of them are going to set up special numbers or websites just for this disaster to make sure they can expedite those claims. We always encourage people to follow up in writing as quickly as they can. If you don’t have access to those electronic resources right now, you’ll have recovery centers set up in your community soon and you’ll be able to file your claims in person. In addition, it’s always advisable to call and notify your agent even if you don’t have a full assessment of your damage yet.
One of the things we know — especially about people evacuating from a flood — is that you don’t necessarily have time to grab a copy of your policy, especially as the waters are rising. If people don’t have a copy of that policy, we encourage them to call our help line at 800-252-3439 so we can help them locate the contact information for their agent.
One of the things that many homeowner’s policies have is coverage for expenses that you may have accumulated because you had to evacuate. If you’re in an area where an evacuation was
ordered and you’re now in a hotel, most homeowner’s insurances will have policies to help you get reimbursed.
In general, what should flood victims know?
When you make a call to your insurance company, it’s really great to document that and make a note of it on your phone. One of the great things about phones is that it’s easy to take pictures and videos, so you can certainly document damage. If you can be there when the adjustor is there, that’s great, but we know that may be harder for people in a flood situation. It’s really just about keeping close contact with your insurer and your agent.
The most important thing is that there’s such a tremendous outpouring of support from all of Texas. We have daily calls from insurers around the state, and they are so anxious to get in and provide direct help.
There’s a lot of resources available to [flood victims]. The most important thing is for these victims is to look at the types of policies you have — potentially homeowner’s, flood and a windstorm policy — and notify all your agents. The parts of the claim to be paid by which policy will be sorted out later, but make those notifications promptly. Victims shouldn’t feel rushed, but we always encourage people to make those notifications promptly.
Read related Tribune coverage:

  • Hurricane Harvey may be on its last days in Texas, but the state — particularly Houston — has a long road to recovery ahead. [Full story]
  • Though school districts in the Houston area have postponed classes at least until next Tuesday, their buildings and employees are central to providing relief for people needing shelter during the Hurricane Harvey floods. [Full story]
  • A new law, set to take effect Friday, aims to crack down on frivolous insurance lawsuits. But House Bill 1774 also reduces the penalty fees that insurance companies face for late payments if the policyholder files a lawsuit. [Full story] New Texas law means Harvey victims have good reason to file claims by Friday
  • A new law, set to take effect Friday, aims to crack down on frivolous insurance lawsuits. But House Bill 1774 also reduces the penalty fees that insurance companies face for late payments if the policyholder files a lawsuit.
  • For many Texans ravaged by the rain and winds, Hurricane Harvey carried ashore this past weekend, filing an insurance claim for the damage their property sustained is probably the farthest thing from their minds right now. But waiting to submit a claim past Friday could cost them big.


  • A new law set to take effect Friday aims to crack down on frivolous insurance lawsuits. But House Bill 1774 also reduces the penalty interest rate insurance companies face for late payments if the policyholder files a lawsuit.
  • If insurance companies are late in paying claims as a result of a lawsuit, they must pay an additional penalty to policyholders. Under current state law, that penalty comes in the form of a fee that totals 18 percent of the claim. For claims filed on Friday, that rate will be determined by a market-based formula that is capped at 20 percent. Currently, the rate would be 10 percent.
  • While people filing claims by Friday would benefit from the higher penalty payouts in lawsuits, those same cases would be subject to provisions in the new law. Those provisions would decrease the chances insurance companies will have to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys fees in full and protect agents from being personally sued. 
  • Texas Trial Lawyer Alliance


  • The law requires an attorney notify an insurance company that if it doesn't resolve the issues with a claim within 60 days, the company will be sued.
  • At least 29 lawmakers who represent areas hit particularly hard by Harvey voted for the bill. 
  • Among those supporters was state Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park.
  • “I believe that Texans have the strongest consumer protections in the nation against insurers” that don't deliver on claims, Cain said.
  • He said people who are harmed by bad actors in the insurance industry will still have protections under this law.