FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/30/2017
Statement from State Representative James White on Disaster Declarations
(Austin, TX) – State Representative James White has received many questions regarding disaster declarations throughout Southeast Texas. It is important that residents in House District 19 remain safe, listen and cooperate with local and county authorities, and be informed of the resources that are available to them.
Many counties in the district are already covered in some form and it is important that residents seek assistance as provided through those declarations.
Newton: Federal State
Jasper: Federal State
Hardin: Federal State
Additionally, some of these counties are also covered under local declarations. Congressman Brian Babin, State Rep. White and local county officials know the situation is dire in HD 19 and are working to have the remaining counties placed on the federal disaster declaration, according to federal law.
Texans should register as soon as possible at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ to access disaster help and resources. This website will be able to help residents find local resources and apply for assistance online during this time.
Homeowners impacted during Hurricane Harvey should consult with their insurance agent about their property coverage. Ultimately, your policy dictates how the insurance company will work with you in loss recovery. In addition, the General Land Office suggests that residents take the following steps to improve the potential of receiving infrastructure assistance, whether through your insurance FEMA, the Texas Department of Emergency Management, or the Housing and Urban Development CDBG-Disaster Recovery program:
• Keep Receipts: Document all purchases and repairs related to storm damage, including those made with insurance or government funding. Federal law prohibits receiving reimbursement from multiple sources for the same loss.
• Gather Important Documentation: Track and document all electrical outages, direct damage to infrastructure, and displacement of citizens. Maintain copies of news reports and articles. Such documentation will help when seeking aid now and in the future.
• Take Photos: These can serve as evidence of damage that resulted from the event. Use of a GPS enabled camera will give precise locations and will help keep track of the overall flow of damages.
• Beware of Contractor Fraud: Require a contract for any repairs made and do not pay up front for repairs.
• Follow Procurement Standards: Follow new federal procurement procedures found in 2 CFR §200.318-326 when procuring for services related to disaster recovery.
More insurance resources can be found at the Texas Department of Insurance website at: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/storms/helpafterharvey.html.
“As Southeast Texas continues to see the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey, our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families affected by this historic natural disaster and the first responders working tirelessly to protect our communities. Southeast Texans are no strangers to natural disasters, and we will continue to band together to respond to this storm in the weeks and months to come. As property owners begin to recover and rebuild, it's critical to remember the rights and remedies available under Texas law,” said Rep. James White.
Please do not hesitate to contact either Saul Mendoza, Chief of Staff, or Shawn Dunn, District Director, with questions regarding these projects at 512-463-0490 or 409-283-3700.