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Disaster Recovery Center now open in Orange

By Dawn Burleigh

dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com

During a Flood Disaster Assistance Workshop hosted by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin office on Friday at the West Orange-Cove CISD Administration Building, the opening of a Disaster Recovery Center was announced. The center is located at in the Northway Shopping Center, 3777 N 16th Street Ste 100 in Orange.

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

Representatives from the state, FEMA, Small Business Administration (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.

“Even if you have registered with SBA or Red Cross, still register with FEMA,” Branch II Supervisor for FEMA Chris Allen said during the workshop. “Each case is different, even if you are next door neighbors.”

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.

“Do not let the word business get in the way,” SBA Public Information Offiocer Susheel Kumar said. “We work hand in hand with FEMA. We help businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and non-profits.”

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.

“We do not force you to take a loan you cannot afford,” Kumar said. “If you are turned down, we can send you back to FEMA for other assistance.”

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

Farm Service Agency (FSA) was also on hand to inform residents there is assistance for ranchers and farmers as well.

“We are also ways there and available,” Ben Haus said. “We have an open door policy. Our limit is agriculture, but sometimes we do not know about the small five – ten acre farm.”

FSA can be reached by calling 409-860-7293 or visiting 8330 College Street Suite A in Beaumont.

Also, available for assistance is Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse depends on volunteers to help bring physical help and spiritual comfort to storm victims. They are currently located at Mauriceville Assembly of God located at 11477 Hwy. 12 in Mauriceville or by calling 409-238-4926.

The group can help gut, sanitize homes as well as salvage and pack personal belongings.

The Sharing Station, located at 2300 North 41st Street in Orange offers household items and clothing. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. – noon and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Mon. – Fri. and 9 a.m. – Noon on Saturday. Call 409-886-1100 for more information.

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.

 

 

EDITED: For clarification of the location of the Disaster Recovery Center.