September 5, 2017

FEMA Here to Assist Bellaire Residents Through Disaster Recovery Process

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived this morning and came to City Hall to brief us on their Hurricane Harvey response in Bellaire.  They gave us an overview of the federal disaster recovery programs available to residents, as well as to the City itself, and what to expect in the coming days.  We then took them on a driving tour through several of our neighborhoods so they could see for themselves the extent of the damage we sustained and get a handle on the sheer number of impacted homeowners in need of assistance.  They will allocate resources accordingly.

The first step for those seeking federal disaster assistance is to register with FEMA, online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362).  Our own City of Bellaire Library reopened today, and has public computers and librarians available to help with filling out the forms.  Also visit our Hurricane Harvey Recovery Resources page for other helpful links and information.

Registration starts the process by assigning a specific case number, followed by a call-back to schedule a visit by a FEMA inspector.  Eligibility determinations will be made for various individual assistance programs, including for transitional shelter, rentals and other needs.  In many cases applicants can receive payments by direct deposit to their bank accounts within days.  While insurance is a consideration in determining eligibility for these benefits, residents are strongly encouraged to register with FEMA regardless of whether or not they have flood coverage.

FEMA is also deploying two- to four-person Disaster Survivor Assistance teams in Bellaire.  They’ll be walking through affected neighborhoods to help people get registered, provide case updates to those who have signed up already, and to answer questions and distribute information.  You can identify them by their light blue shirts bearing the FEMA logo (or sometimes red with a “FEMA Corps” logo), and you should ask to see their FEMA ID badges.  They will not demand or accept payment for any reason, and they will not try to enter your home.  If you suspect someone may be posing as a FEMA representative, do not give them any of your personal information and call Bellaire Police at (713) 668-0487.

FEMA personnel are obviously in high demand throughout our region, and they’re working hard to allocate resources and maintain a continuous presence here in Bellaire.  We will keep the lines of communication open and do what we can to facilitate their efforts to assist our residents.

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