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WASHINGTON -- Within less than 24 hours of receiving Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request for a major disaster declaration, President Joseph R. Biden approved the declaration, allowing assistance for winter storm survivors in 77 counties.

FEMA continues responding to meet the needs of survivors in large sections of the United States who are impacted by extreme cold, snow, ice and high winds. The agency is actively coordinating with state, local and tribal governments to address unmet needs.

Anyone who is still without power should seek a warming center in their area, while taking COVID-19 precautions. Older adults, young children and the disabled can be especially vulnerable in extreme temperatures, so please check on your neighbors and encourage anyone who needs assistance to go to these shelters for warmth.

Texas Disaster Declaration

President Biden’s major disaster declaration provides assistance for disaster survivors in 77 counties, including Parker and Palo Pinto counties. This 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 this storm.

If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

The counties are: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name

If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.

Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

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