FEMA deadlines near for Palo Pinto flood victims

Two deadlines are fast approaching for Texans affected by the April storms and those who had damage from flooding that began around Memorial Day weekend and stretched into June, including residents in Palo Pinto County and other area counties.

The deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance for the April 17-30 storms is July 29.

That deadline is for 16 affected counties: Anderson, Austin, Cherokee, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Parker, San Jacinto, Smith, Waller, Wharton and Wood.

If damage occurred May 26 through June 24, the registration deadline is Aug. 10. That deadline is for 24 affected counties: Austin, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Eastland, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Hidalgo, Hood, Kleberg, Lee, Liberty, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, San Jacinto, Stephens, Travis, Tyler, Waller and Washington.

Presidential disaster declarations for the two storms made federal assistance available to eligible individuals and households as well as those working in the designated counties. Some counties are included in both declarations.

Applying for disaster assistance is essentially a two-step process, which ensures consideration for all FEMA programs and the U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans. First, register with FEMA, then complete and return the no-obligation SBA loan application, if one is offered. There is no charge to apply for the loan and if approved, no obligation to accept it.

Disaster survivors may register the following ways:

• Online: DisasterAssistance.gov
• Phone: 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
• At a disaster recovery center. To find the nearest one, go online to the disaster recovery center locator at asd.fema.gov/inter/locator.

FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits. Survivors should register even if they have insurance.

FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims have been settled. A free multilingual guide to the types of assistance available can be found at fema.gov/help-after-disaster.

For more information on the Texas recovery, visit the disaster webpage for the May-June storms at fema.gov/disaster/4272; or visit the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at txdps.state.tx.us/dem. Follow FEMA on Twitter @femaregion6.

The Graham Leader

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