Moving Forward In Texas – Resource Guide

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Moving Forward In Texas – Resource Guide


Hotels and Housing
http://www.femaevachotels.com

Car Damage
Hurricane Harvey: What to Do if Your Car Was Damaged
http://www.dmv.org/articles/hurricane-harvey-flood-damaged-car.php
Harris County: Call 713-308-8580 to locate your towed car.

Legal
Free legal help via the State Bar of Texas Disaster Legal HotlineCall 1-800-504-7030 or visit their website for more information. The State Bar of Texas legal hotline at 800-504-7030 provides answers to basic legal questions in English, Spanish or Vietnamese. If you need a lawyer, call the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 800-252-9690.

Job Loss
If you lost your job because of the hurricane, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/disaster-unemployment-assistance

Emotional and Mental Health
Talk to a professional about emotional distress by calling the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or texting “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

Preventing Fraud and Exploitation
The Federal Trade Commission’s latest Press Release
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/08/ftc-advice-helping-hurricane-harvey-victims
Texans should watch for fraud, scams in wake of Hurricane Harvey- AgriLife Today
https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/blog/2017/08/31/texans-watch-fraud-scams-wake-hurricane-harvey/

Various Kinds of Assistance

  • The Austin Disaster Relief Network activated a call center to provide both resources and information to families impacted by the storm. You can reach that hotline at 512-806-0800.
  • Call the United Way Helpline at 211 for information on shelters and other forms of assistance.
  • The Democratic Socialists of America are working to help Low Income Houstonians through their Cleanup and Construction assistance Program
  • Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston:To provide relief for families, stability for our youth and teens, and care for our communities recovering from Hurricane Harvey, they are opening five Boys & Girls Clubs starting Friday, September 1:http://www.bgclubs-houston.org/Members-And-Family
  • Houston Emergency Aid Coalition: Food and other essential needs – To find a pantry near you,
    call 832-369-9390.
  • Hurricane Harvey Community Relief – https://ghcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Hurricane-Harvey-Resources-NEED-HELP.pdf
  • Texas Diaper Bank – For baby diapers, pull-ups, adult diapers, formula, and wipes.
    New or gently used baby items – Clothes, blankets, bottles, breast pumps, small toys etc. www.texasdiaperbank.org
  • Black Lives Matter Houston has been offering assistance through their volunteers who have been on the ground providing direct assistance to individual based on their unique needs.

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Assistance-Texas Health and Human Services
(HHS) has mobilized to help Texans dig out from the damage Hurricane Harvey caused.
https://hhs.texas.gov/services/financial/disaster-assistance


For People with Disabilities and their Family Members and Caregivers
Portlight – www.portlight.org
DADS- https://www.dads.state.tx.us/hurricane/bulletin.cfm?id=23


Homeless Shelters and Social Services for people who face Chronic Homelessness
Coalition for the Homeless of Houston – www.homelesshouston.org
Star of Hope – www.sohmission.org


Churches Offering Assistance to rebuild, Direct Aid, or Cash and Material Assistance
http://www.churchproject.org/hurricaneharveyresponse
http://bethelofhouston.com/hurricane-harvey-response


FILING PRIVATE INSURANCE CLAIMS
Prepare to file your insurance claim:
□ Document with pictures and a written list of all damage and property loss
□ Find your insurance agent’s contact information and policy number
(if you do not have a copy of your insurance and/or flood policy, contact your provider and ask for a copy.)
□ Call your insurance agent or the company.
□ Managing your insurance claim:
Document your insurance claim number
Begin preparing your Proof of Loss statement to submit within 60 days
Download the form
Allow and be present for the insurance adjuster’s visit to inspect home.
When the inspector is there make sure to state that any damage discussed, pointed out or noticed is only what is immediately available to the untrained eye.
Obtain repair/replacement estimates if you do not agree with the inspector’s assessment.


FILING FEMA CLAIMS
Texas has been approved for FEMA funding. You can apply for FEMA assistance via the following ways:
◊ Phone @ 1-800-621-3362 or
◊ Online @ www.DisasterAssistance.gov
FEMA could pay for emergency housing costs so even if you cannot get to you home now and are not able to file a full claim for losses, you could apply for help to pay for temporary emergency housing.
FEMA will generally not issue assistance UNTIL they can confirm what your private insurance is paying for and not paying for – including emergency housing. So if you have private insurance, you should start the ball rolling with them first and have your policy information ready to provide to FEMA.


UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
If you are in one of the 18 federally-declared disaster counties, you may be eligible for disaster-related unemployment assistance. You must apply by September 27


Mortgage Assistance

Freddie Mac
If you are a homeowner whose home or place of employment has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac, contact your mortgage company right away to discuss your mortgage relief options.
Mortgage companies who are servicing Freddie Mac loans have been authorized to do:
Suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months
Waive penalty fees and late fees for affected homeowners
Suspend reporting forbearance and delinquency reporting to credit bureaus
Automatically suspend evictions and foreclosures for 90 days
Authorized to verbally approve 90-forbearances for homeowners whose home or work was impacted

Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae works directly with mortgage servicers to offer special options for those impacted by disasters. Eligible homeowners who are having difficulty paying their Fannie Mae mortgage may qualify for (Read more about options for Fannie Mae backed loans):
A forbearance to temporarily suspend or reduce mortgage payments up to 6 months
Late charges to be waived
A modification solution to cure any delinquency after a forbearance
Possible suspension of legal proceedings (i.e., foreclosure)
If your home is impacted by a natural disaster, it is imperative that you contact your servicer as soon as possible.

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is delaying foreclosures, opportunities for deferrals, modifications and repayment plans. Wells Fargo Disaster Hotline at (888) 818-9147


IRS Relief
The IRS is providing help to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Special tax relief and assistance is available to taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Areas.(Read more about IRS Relief options from the IRS)
Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Victims of Hurricane Harvey
Extension Filers Have Until Jan. 31 to File


Paying Bills & Protecting Credit
It’s important to be proactive with creditors when you’re recovering from a natural disaster. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, reach out to the creditor and explain that you are a flood victim and ask for extra payment time, fee waivers or deferments. Many creditors and banks are also offering to not report late payments to bureaus – but you have to notify the creditor that you are impacted by the hurricane.


DISASTER RECOVERY LOANS
Those whose homes or businesses have been damaged by the storm may be eligible for Disaster Loan Assistance through the Small Business Administration.
Homeowners may be eligible for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their residence. Both homeowners and renters may be able to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.


FEMA Claims Handbook
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409252356253-ee460a21e69333f01eea03a8f55eb3c6/F-687_ClaimsHandbook_508XI_Aug2014.pdf

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