Following last month’s severe flooding event, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is opening three Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in the hardest hit areas of Hidalgo County. The DRC’s will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the following locations:
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER #1
City of Weslaco Economic
275 South Kansas Ave, Weslaco
DISASTER RECOVER CENTER #2
City of Mission Social Event Center
115 South Mayberry Road, Missipm
DISASTER RECOVER CENTER #3
McAllen Chamber of Commerce:
Old Church Winery
700 North Main Street, McAllen
Representatives from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), volunteer groups and other agencies will be at the centers ready to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.
Residents have 60 days from July 6, when the disaster declaration was issued, to apply for FEMA assistance. September 6 is the last day to apply for disaster assistance.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
There are three ways for residents and business owners who sustained losses to apply for assistance:
-In person at the Disaster Recovery Center in Weslaco, Mission or McAllen.
-Registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT.
-Or, by downloading the FEMA app, available at the Apple and Google Play stores.
FEMA officials encourage all residents no matter their legal status to apply for assistance. Undocumented immigrants who have one child who is a U.S. citizen are eligible to apply. Officials also suggest residents contact their homeowner’s insurance company first to determine if they are covered for damage. If they are not, they can apply for assistance through FEMA or the Small Business Administration, which provides low-interest, fixed-rate federal disaster loans.
You can apply for SBA loans at the DRC, online or you can mail a paper application. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and business owners are eligible for up to $2 million. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 from FEMA to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
When registering for FEMA, applicants will be asked for the following:
-Social Security number.
-Address of the damaged primary residence.
-Description of the damage.
-Information about insurance coverage.
-A current contact telephone number.
-An address where they can receive mail.
-Annual gross household income.
-A bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.
-Identification and proof of occupancy, such as a lease, rent receipt, or utility bill.
-Homeowners will be asked for proof of ownership, such as a property deed or title, mortgage payment book, property insurance policy, or tax receipts.
Important documents destroyed in the disaster may be duplicated with help from outside sources, such as the County Clerk’s office.
Once you have applied, a FEMA inspector will visit your home within three to five days to conduct an inspection. Once the inspection is complete and a determination on assistance is made, available funds will be deposited in five to 10 business days.