Storm Survivors Need to Register with FEMA by August 27th, Various Programs Available

July 22, 2015 - During May and June, flooding and storms caused major damage to homes and personal property of Shelby County residents.

Thankfully one couple was awake when the storm rolled through Center on the 11th of May and ran for safety as a large tree fell into the house they were renting on Houston Street during the early morning hours.Many Center residents spent days if not weeks cleaning up and removing trees which fell from a storm which rolled through on May 11th. In the Pine Terrace subdivision as well as other areas in town trees fell on houses, carports, vehicles, storage buildings, fences and for the lucky ones, they only fell to the ground. However, cleanup was a chore even for those who only had minor damage.

On May 18th, the Joaquin area experienced large amounts of flooding due to heavy rains and the already swollen river. Joaquin ISD was underwater along with many homes, apartments, and vehicles.

On June 18th flooding hit Shelby County again with Center Police Department officers and Center firemen having to make high water rescue for a vehicle stranded in a flooded roadway. Homeowners had rain waters enter their homes.

The federal disaster declaration for Shelby County, Texas has been expanded to include Individual Assistance as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred between May 4 and June 19 according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Did you have storm damage? August 27th is the deadline to register for individual assistance. Go online at or call 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-621-FEMA to get registered today!

Programs and Services Available

Assistance programs available include Federal programs, State programs, SBA (Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters), and USDA programs.

Assistance for renters is available through the SBA for repair or replacement of personal damage including renters who are uninsured or under-insured that have incurred necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster.

Even if you aren't sure about the extent of damage, storm survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA. Unseen damage can manifest itself next year and as long as you are registered, you can still apply for assistance.

Once registered with FEMA; keep in touch! The 800 FEMA number is a one stop number. It helps with registering, questions, and can answer questions concerning other programs whether it is SBA, State, or Department of Agriculture related.

Stay in touch! If you change phone numbers or move or relocate to a different location, let FEMA know so you can be contacted by FEMA concerning your application.

The individual assistance disaster declaration also has free legal services available through the State. The Texas State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program hotline number is 800-504-7030. Storm survivors can call and speak to an attorney concerning legal questions such as assistance with insurance claims, landlord/tenant problems, consumer protection and foreclosure problems, replacement of wills and other important documents, and preparation of guardianships and conservatorships.

Another resource available is the National Flood Insurance Program which has a call center to answer Texas policyholders' flood insurance questions, 800-621-3362.

Disaster assistance may be available for storm survivors who are non-citizens as well. Call or call 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-621-FEMA. Or visit online