2021 Winter Disaster Assistance

Individual Assistance/FEMA

• President Biden signed the Major Disaster Declaration for Dallas County over the weekend which opens up Individual Assistance for everyone in Dallas County

• As a result, FEMA can provide assistance to individuals and families for items not covered by insurance for homeowners and renters

• The first line of defense in any disaster is insurance but if you’re uninsured or underinsured, you may apply for Individual Assistance, and check your application status at DisasterAssistance.gov.

• Or, you may call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or download the FEMA App

• Before you apply for assistance, below are the steps you need to take to start your recovery process:

o Step One: Take photos of your damaged home and belongings.

o Step Two: Make a list of damaged/lost items.

o Step Three: Save yourself time. If you have insurance, you must file a claim with your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, continue to Step Four.

o Step Four: Apply with FEMA

• What does IA cover?

o Temporary Housing Assistance: Financial assistance to homeowners or renters to rent a temporary place to live if your home is unlivable because of the disaster, and you have no insurance coverage for temporary housing

o Lodging Expenses Reimbursement: Reimbursement of hotel expenses for homeowners or renters for short periods of time due to inaccessibility or utility outage, if not covered by insurance or any other program.

o Home Repair and Home Replacement: Financial assistance to homeowners to repair disaster-caused damage to their primary residence, when the damage is not covered by insurance, to make the home safe, sanitary, and fit to occupy or to help replace their home destroyed in the disaster.

o Other–Financial assistance is available for necessary expenses and serious needs directly caused by the disaster, including:

 Child-care expenses

 Medical and dental expenses

 Funeral and burial expenses

 Damages to essential household, job related or educational items

 Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, dehumidifier)

 Damage to an essential vehicle

 Moving and storage expenses caused by the disaster

Small Business Administration

o Additionally, if you have damage to your home or business that is not covered by insurance, you may qualify for low interest loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA). As of today, the SBA has opened a virtual business recovery center and virtual disaster loan outreach center. Call (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information and to apply online

o Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

o Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets

o SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

o Many individuals will qualify for assistance. The bottom line is that we encourage all individuals to apply —there is no cost to apply and no obligations.

o And if you are turned down, then it opens the door for FEMA assistance and other resources.

Electric

o Due to the State’s failure to properly regulate electricity prices, many Texans are seeing ridiculously high electric bills, some reports of up to $17,000. Here are some things you can do immediately :

o Stop auto-payment of your bill either by removing information from your online account or working with your bank directly.

o Check with your energy provider to determine if you are on a fixed rate or variable plan and understand the charges you might be facing.

o If you are on a variable plan with no protections, you may want to work with your provider to see if you can retroactively change your plan to a fixed rate

o Energy consumers should do what they can to educate themselves on their options. www.powertochoose.org is a good place to start.

o I strongly recommend you consider a fixed rate 12 month plan and remind yourself each January to check your plan and lock in the best rate. Furthermore, I hope you’ll consider one of the 100% renewable or “green” plans

o The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Clearinghouse National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project is a free service for those who want information on where to apply for Low Income Home Energy Assistance. The toll free number for NEAR is 1-866-674-6327, or TTY 1-866-367-6228.

o There are laws and regulations that require a utility to provide its customers with notice before it can terminate service. During this notice period, customers can take the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings or incorrect information by the utility, obtain crisis/emergency grants of payment assistance, establish a payment plan for arrearages, or register a complaint with the state public utility commission.

FEMA Site

• We’ll open up the Community Vaccination Center at Fair Park on Wednesday, Feb. 24th with our federal partners

• We have a team of 137 soldiers including 72 vaccinators. They have been training and doing dry-runs on site in preparation. There are also 70 FEMA staff supporting the vaccination center.

• They’ll be providing 3k Pfizer vaccine doses a day 7 days a week for 6 weeks, including second doses.

• For the FEMA site, we’ll be prioritizing eligible 1B residents in the following 17 zip codes in Dallas County:

o 75042, 75061, 75150, 75210, 75211, 75212, 75215, 75216, 75217, 75220, 75224, 75227, 75228, 75231, 75237, 75241, 75243

• Depending on the number of individuals that register in these 17 zip codes, we may use the vulnerability index to determine priority.

• If we are able to meet the need in these 17 zip codes, we will then expand to additional vulnerable areas.

• We are asking every City, faith group and community organization that is in or touches one of these zip codes to please assist with registering residents as soon as possible

• We will have an “all hands on deck” approach to registering people in these zip codes—block-walking door-to-door, phone banks, community registration events.

• Residents can also go to www.DallasCounty.org. There’s a link for vaccines in English and Spanish at the top of the website.

• Or residents can call 1-855-IMMUNE9 7 days a week from 7am-7 pm to register over the phone.

Second Doses

• As for our current County allocations, the winter weather significantly affected our vaccine administration but we will ensure that everyone who received their first dose of the vaccine at Fair Park and needs their second dose of the vaccine will receive it.

• We resumed operations Sunday at Fair Park, and were able to administer almost 4800 second doses with our drive-thru model in the past two days.

• We received an additional shipment of 15,000 vaccine for second doses today from the Texas Dept of State Health Services.

• We plan to open back up for second doses for those due on or before February 16 on Wednesday, February 24 from 8am-5pm. On Thursday, we will see individuals due for their second dose on or before February 17 from 8am-5pm.

• Our Army vaccinators from Ft Riley, Kansas and our FEMA partners have agreed to help administer our Moderna second doses after they finish their daily vaccination of 3k Pfizer doses.

• Given that we have 15k doses for this week, once our federal partners are able to assist us, we may be able to open up second dose opportunities to later dates. Once we know on any given day when that will happen, we will announce it on Twitter at JudgeClayJ and possibly open up more days for people to come and get shots. I know this is frustrating and not an ideal way to keep you informed.

• However, our initial first shots were done under an operating system that had to be replaced and we do not have contact information for many of you in need of second shots. In less than ten days, all second shots will be under the new operating system and we’ll be able to get appointments for people and greatly improve the customer experience of both second and first shots. Please bear with us as we catch everyone up on their shots

• The State has confirmed we will have sufficient supply of the vaccine to ensure all those who received their first dose of the vaccine at Fair Park can receive their second dose but there are shipping delays due to last week’s winter weather event.

• We are only administering second doses until we catch up following the winter weather closures, and we will start with those who are most delayed in their second dose. Please be patient as there are many who need their second dose and we must space out individuals to ensure timely and safe delivery.

• The CDC guidance is that second doses of the vaccine may be administered up to 6 weeks after the first dose. While we plan to accommodate those needing a second dose much sooner than that, please know that the CDC does allow for a 42-day timeframe

• We will continue to provide updates on our vaccine operations as soon as we have them. You can go to www.DallasCounty.org for the latest information.