Two Disaster Recovery Centers Are Open In Newton County

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WHO:             The State of Texas, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

 WHAT:           Two joint state/federal Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open in Newton County to help survivors whose homes or businesses were affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began March 7.

 WHEN:           The hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, and closed on Sunday, until further notice.

 WHERE:         The Newton County centers are located at:

  • Iris and Annie Howard Civic Center, 213 Court Street, Newton, TX 75966.
  • Hartburg Baptist Church, 2316 County Road 4181, Orange, TX 77632.

OTHER:         Representatives from the state, FEMA, SBA and other agencies are at the center to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

Survivors are encouraged to register for FEMA assistance before visiting a center one of the following ways:

  • Go online at gov.
  • Call 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use

711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll free lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

Each recovery center has assistive technologies available for people with disabilities. To request an American Sign Language interpreter, call 800-621-3362 in advance of visiting a center.

Going to a DRC is not a requirement of registration, but specialists there provide guidance regarding disaster recovery and rental resources, explain written correspondence received from FEMA, inform survivors of the status of their application, make referrals to other organizations and answer questions.

Disaster assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

SBA low-interest disaster loans are available to help with residential and business losses not covered by insurance. The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. Applying for these loans is also a way to qualify for other avenues of assistance.

For more information on SBA programs, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, email, or visit SBA’s website at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

Federal disaster assistance is available to eligible residents of Erath, Gregg, Harrison, Hood, Jasper, Marion, Newton, Orange and Parker counties. Survivors in those counties may visit any DRC location.