A number of Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) have been established to help people who have already applied for assistance. Note that while applications can be made there, FEMA would strongly prefer to accept registration for assistance by phone or online. (FEMA really doesn’t want to repeat the long lines that occurred after Katrina and Rita, and I don’t blame them. A busy signal may be annoying, but so is standing in line for four hours.)
When an applicant gets a FEMA letter after registering with FEMA it can often be confusing. The DRC will help the applicant understand the denial or award letter they receive. They will also be able to register there, but it is preferred that they register over the phone or online. The DRC also provides different agencies that may help the applicant after a disaster such as: IRS, SBA, etc.
The IRS? (Never mind…. making a joke of that would be like shooting fish in a barrel.)
As of today, four sites will be open Monday thru Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm:
1. Ellington Joint Reserve Base, 14657 Sneider Street, 77034
2. Home Depot Store, 11500 Chimney Rock, Houston, Texas 77035
3. Home Depot Store, 10707 North Freeway, Houston, Texas 77037
4. Home Depot Store, 6810 Gulf Freeway, Houston, Texas 77087
More may be opened later. Before going to the center, residents should make sure to have their identification, Social Security number, insurance information, proof of address and contact numbers on hand.
At the DRC, visitors can:
* Receive information about different types of state and federal disaster assistance.
* Get help completing low-interest loan applications from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters and business owners.
* Inquire about the status of applications for federal assistance.
* Receive referrals to the American Red Cross and other voluntary organizations to help with immediate unmet needs.
* Learn cost-effective measures to reduce the impact of future disaster losses.
Additionally Nationwide Insurance had a mobile center set up yesterday in the parking lot of Lowe’s at Wallisville and Beltway 8 on the east side for its customers. They looked kind of bored when I drove by at 5pm.
Americares has opened a mobile clinic to serve the public at 215 Westheimer.
Sept 13: In the wake of Hurricane Ikes landfall, the international disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization AmeriCares is moving relief supplies and emergency response specialists to the hardest hit areas of the storm. At AmeriCares headquarters in Stamford today, staff and volunteers are loading a Mobile Medical Unit with essential medicines and medical supplies that are bound for the Galveston-Houston area. The Mobile Medical Unit will provide medical services to returning evacuees in the Houston metro area.
As Texas officials issued urgent warnings about Hurricane Ike this week, AmeriCares began working to ensure that critical medical supplies will be available in the recovery effort, said Curt Welling, president and CEO of AmeriCares. “The need for assistance and support is great. We will remain in Texas as long as is necessary to support the individuals and families affected by Hurricane Ike.
In addition to deploying the Mobile Medical Unit, AmeriCares is sending emergency response and clinical staff to assess the needs of the communities in the path of the storm and determine the priorities for future assistance. The organization is also working in collaboration with Nestle to send bottled water to the Galveston-Houston Area.
AmeriCares is a private, nonprofit international disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $7.5 billion in humanitarian aid to 137 countries. To learn more about AmeriCares and to find out how to support the relief efforts in Texas, visit americares.org.
And unless you’re some kind of anti-religious bigot, Grace Community Church Senior Pastor, Steve Riggle, announced today that his church will be hosting a community seminar with Houston City Council Member Mike Sullivan at their South Campus location 14505 Gulf Freeway at Dixie Farm Road Monday, September 22 from 7PM-8PM to cover issues with insurance, FEMA and housing. This seminar is open to anyone and everyone. The goal of this seminar is to answer questions many have but are unable to get answered.
Presentations will be given about temporary and long term housing issues for those affected by Hurricane Ike; insurance and insurance claims processes; Texas Windstorm insurance; as well as FEMA related issues. (Actually, they’ll probably let you in, even if you are an anti-religious bigot. Those whacky Christians, never know what to expect from them!)
Speaking of Christians, Catholic Charities Staff and Volunteers will be giving out food and water at the Catholic Charismatic Center at 1949 Cullen Blvd Monday, September 22 from 2 - 7 pm. Donations for Ike are urgently needed to assist with recovery efforts. To donate visit www.catholiccharities.org.
Links to more information:
Chron’s assistance blog/list
KHOU’s help blog
ABC13’s list (with services provided)
Channel 2’s list of POD locations
I also checked the Houston Press, but they were too busy snarking and putting links to two year old articles on the front page (News and Columns; Special Reports) to actually be, you know, helpful. (I suppose that’s rather mean of me after their Hair Balls called me “the ever sharp-eyed Ubu Roi.” I am such an ingrate.) Well, they do have a list of restaurants that are open.
Mmmmm. El Jardin’s. Love their quesadillas.