Thanks for writing to us about the Town Hall Meeting last night. There was such a crowd that we had to repeat the event twice last night to be able to accommodate all.
I don’t have slides from the event – but I can confirm some of the content with you.
First of all, FEMA has just arrived in Houston and do not yet have a disaster recovery center location. A small group of residents who registered immediately after the flood, have had assessors to their home in the past 2 days – no one has yet been informed of what they will receive from FEMA. There has not yet been a formal announcement on the limits of funding per home (caps) and other items that may or may not be covered (such as funds to rent apartments during construction). These will be determined and announced by FEMA as the full scope of our communities losses are.
First step is to register with FEMA, which can be done either online www.disasterassistance.gov or 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Enter your address to confirm that your home is within the declared area for national disaster and eligible for FEMA.
When you register, you’ll need: your SSI, a statement of loses), your insurance info, all phone numbers so that they can contact you, and she suggests if possible have proof of home ownership.
Speaker strongly suggested that you read this document to understand the program: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/assistance/process/help_after_disaster_english.pdf
Some other suggestions/things mentioned:
- Take photos of everything lost
- Never pay for FEMA inspector – there is no cost
- Your insurance is always primary – and if you turn down their payment, you lose your eligibility to FEMA.
- Within 10 days of inspector visit, you’ll hear back on what you are eligible to receive.
- You can appeal.
- FEMA has caps on what they will pay out (which for this storm has not yet been defined) – The IHP (Individuals and Households Program) will NOT pay you enough to return or replace your personal property to its condition before the disaster. It is designed to pay with critical expenses that cannot be covered elsewhere.
- The home must be your primary residence.
- Business loses are not covered. Instead contact the Small Business Administration to obtain a loan.
From the City:
- More police have been assigned to our area
- They have made a promise to pick up trash over the next couple of days
- If you were flooded, please call 311 and report it – so that the city has a census of who was affected.
- Good info is available from the city online here:
And new FAQ is located here:
From Jewish Family Service
- If you have no place to live and no resources for food, pharmacies, and basic needs – and you live in this area – they are the social service agency in this area to help you with basic needs.
- If you have no resources or ability to remove debris from your home, contact Nechama.org – an organization that they are working with here.
If you have any other specific question, I can try to help.
Rodi L. Franco
Chief Marketing Officer
Jewish Federation of Greater Houston