(CBSDFW.COM) – Texas residents in many areas of the state are now able to apply for federal assistance if they were affected by the historic and devastating winter storms this week.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be able to provide aid after President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state.
Federal funding is being made available for affected residents in the following counties: 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.
According to FEMA, assistance may include financial aid for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help residents and business owners recover.
FEMA says if you have insurance and are applying for federal aid, you must file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.
FEMA says the fastest way to apply is through a website set up by the agency. If Internet is not available, eligible residents can call 800.621.3362. Phone lines run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Residents who are applying should 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
Residents are urged to take photos of any damage and to begin cleanup and repair efforts.