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Disaster Recovery 

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) continues to support and coordinate recovery efforts following the severe weather from this week. On May 17, 2024, President Joe Biden signed a disaster declaration for the State of Texas, allowing FEMA to provide Individual Assistance to those impacted by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding. Below is a list of federal, state, and local resources to help residents with recovery needs.

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FEMA Resources

Residents can begin the application process online, calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or downloading the FEMA app. For additional information about FEMA’s disaster assistance resources and Individual Assistance program, visit disasterassistance.gov.

 

Small Business Administration   

Residents in Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker counties impacted by the April and May severe weather, flooding, and tornadoes are eligible to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans.

The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

The deadline to apply for loans to repair property damage is Tuesday, July 16, 2024, and economic injury is Tuesday, February 18, 2025.

 

Harris County Cooling Centers

Residents can begin the application process online, calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or downloading the FEMA app. For additional information about FEMA’s disaster assistance resources and Individual Assistance program, visit disasterassistance.gov.

The Harris County Public Library (HCPL) System has opened several locations to serve as cooling centers for those looking to stay cool, charge electronic devices, and find activities for children.

Library branches are open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm today. A map displaying these locations is available at readyharris.org. Hours for each location are subject to change each day. Individuals can call 2-1-1 or 3-1-1 for assistance with transportation and to find the nearest location.

 

Recommendations

The temperature is expected to rise over the next several days, HCOHSEM urges all residents to take simple steps to keep themselves safe.

  1. Stay in air conditioning as much as possible. Shopping malls, libraries, and other public, indoor spaces are great places to go to beat the heat when needed.
  2. Wear light-colored, lightweight, and loose-fitting clothing.
  3. If you must be outdoors, STAY HYDRATED and avoid the hottest part of the day between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Take frequent breaks.
  4. NEVER leave children or pets unattended in cars or other vehicles. Temperatures rise quickly and can reach deadly levels in minutes.

 

2-1-1 and 3-1-1

Harris County and City of Houston residents can call 3-1-1 for information about transportation, infrastructure, debris pick up, and other services.

For post incident support and other needs, residents can call 2-1-1 for assistance.

 

Stay informed by following HCOHSEM updates at ReadyHarris.org, on social media, and by signing up for ReadyHarris Alerts or ReadyHarris Accessible Alerts.