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Information for Individuals

FEMA Assistance

  • Register for FEMA Assistance online or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). Tutorial videos are available here and here in English and ASL.

Specific information for people with disabilities or accessibility issues.

When applying have the following information ready:

  • SSN
  • Address of affected property and current location
  • Current telephone numbers
  • Any insurance information available
  • Total household income
  • Bank account information if you want your financial aid direct deposited

What does FEMA Cover?

  • Housing assistance for those who have lost homes, renter or homeowner, for things not covered by insurance
  • Assistance with disaster-caused expenses including medical, dental, child care, funeral and burial, essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle, and some clean-up items
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance for people who no longer has a job or place to work due to the disaster or cannot work due to damage or injury related to the disaster.
  • Crisis Counseling Assistance
  • Free legal assistance for low-income individuals who are unable to secure legal services due to the disaster. This can include assistance with insurance claims, counseling on landlord/tenant problems, assisting in consumer protection matters, and replacement of important legal documents destroyed in the disaster.

What happens after you apply: A FEMA representative will contact you within 10 days to schedule an appointment for a home inspector to visit you to see if you qualify. If you qualify, you will receive the aid money by check or direct deposit and a letter describing how you can use the money. If you do not qualify, you will get a letter describing why and how you can appeal the decision.

TRLA’s Applying for Disaster Aid One PagerEnglish


  • United Way of Houston’s After the Storm Resource Guide: Has resources, checklists, and information on ways to take care of yourself, how to communicate what is happening to children, and accessing emergency resources.
  • Texas Hurricane Center – Office of the Governor offers information for disaster relief
  • TRLA’s Flooded Vehicle One Pager – English, Spanish
  • TRLA’s Disaster Relief for Immigrants One Pager – English, Spanish
  • TRLA’s Disaster Relief & Immigrant Status One Pager – English, Spanish

Harris County Specific:

Information about towed cars, 1-713-308-8580

  • Catholic Charities Galveston-Houston offers food, diapers, gift cards, formula, cash and rental assistance, and clothing. Also, offer regular services for loss of immigration or legal documentation. 1-866-649-5862

Coastal/South Affected Areas Specific:

Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group – 1-361-596-3741

Housing Resources

Information about Public Benefits

  • Hot Foods Waiver
    • SNAP households can use their benefits to buy hot foods and hot food products from any SNAP retailer (such as grocery stores or convenience stores) in Texas, with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards through September 30, 2017.
  • SNAP Replacement Benefits
    • SNAP recipients are eligible for replacement SNAP benefits if their food was destroyed during the hurricane. Most people should have had a percentage of their August benefits automatically added to their Lone Star Cards, but if not, individuals can sign and submit at any local eligibility office Form H1855, Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits  
    • If someone needs a SNAP or TANF replacement EBT card, they can visit a local HHSC office or call the Lone Star help desk at 1-800-777-7EBT to request a mailed replacement card.
  • Early Food Benefits
    • SNAP recipients in the affected counties had their September benefits automatically loaded September 1st on their Lone Star card instead of staggered payments.
  • Medicaid Replacement Cards
    • If Medicaid clients need a replacement, they can print a replacement from their YourTexasBenefits.com account
  • WIC Replacement
    • WIC participants who evacuated and lost or left behind WIC foods or formula already purchased can go to any open WIC clinic to get replacement food benefits. Visit org or call 800-942-3678. If you are in an area affected by Harvey please press option 3 to speak with an operator from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and have them help you find an open location.
  • D-SNAP
    • Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers short-term food assistance benefits to families. It’s one month of benefits, equivalent to the max amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household.
    • Available now within an alphabetical rollout to the following counties: Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Gonzals, Harris, Jasper, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Matagorda, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugion, Sabine, San Patricio, and Tyler.  
    • Additional counties to be added later: Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Chambers, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton. 
    • See more information available here and the alphabetical rollout schedules.
    • Only available to those who don’t currently receive SNAP benefits and located in the federal disaster declaration.
  • CHIP
    • CHIP co-pays and enrollment fees are waived through November 2017 for those living in a county in the federal disaster declaration area.
    • Medicaid, CHIP, and Healthy Texas Woman Benefits are Extended for 6 months in 29 Counties (listed at bottom of page)
    • Applies to all Medicaid, CHIP, and HTW renewals due in August – November 2017. Clients don’t need to take any action to receive 6 month extension but will receive a notice when it’s time to renew.
      • August 2017 were automatically extended through February 2018.
      • September 2017 will be automatically extended through March 2018.
      • October 2017 will be automatically extended through April 2018
      • November 2017 will be automatically extended through May 2018.
  • Disaster Benefits FAQ from HHS

Helpful Numbers

  • 211 for disaster-related information and to get help with unmet needs
  • 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746, Disaster Distress Helpline
  • 866-720-5721 or 844-889-4357, FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline
  • 800-621-0508, Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline
  • 800-252-3439, Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line
  • 800-621-3362, FEMA Disaster Assistance registration (Video Relay Service users call here)
  • 800-462-7585, FEMA Disaster Assistance registration for those with hearing loss or a speech disability
  • 800-939006631, Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • 1-800-788-8247, The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
  • 1-800-252-3439, The Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Protection Help Line
  • 1-866-908-9570, National Emergency Child Locator Center to report a missing child
  • 1-800-RED-CROSS, Find a Shelter

Other Resources

54 Counties officially declared a disaster area: Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Polk, Refugio, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy, and Wilson.

29 counties available for Medicaid, CHIP, and Healthy Texas Woman Benefits Extension: Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Victoria, Waller, and Wharton. 

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