Here’s where to get help after the historic winter storm in Texas

Morning After

Whether it’s too much water in your home, or not enough roof over your head, thousands of Texans are trying to pick up the pieces following last week’s historic winter storm.

After the initial shock of a disaster damaging your home subsides, a second wave of “What do I do now?” can hit soon after.

Fortunately, there are multiple agencies and organizations that stand ready to offer assistance wherever it’s needed.

Insurance

Insurance experts say tens of thousands of claims have already been filed, primarily for flood damage due to broken pipes.

AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster said he’s never seen an event so far reaching as the current disaster.

He said the first step for anyone looking to recover is to file an insurance claim.

“You really want to start by photographing your home, paying special attention to your kitchen: your bathrooms, windows, doors, or any kind of personal property that is sentimental or has high value,” Armbruster said.

FEMA

Once you’ve filed an insurance claim, the next step is filing a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration Saturday for 77 of Texas’ 254 counties.

The disaster declaration includes Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties inCentral Texas.

To apply, go to DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA smartphone app or call FEMA at (800) 621-3362. Once you get to the front page of the FEMA website, click “Apply Online” to get started.

“The claimant applies for a loan, it’s a low interest loan, and it should cover any expenses related to stuff your insurance company will not cover,” said insurance expert Andrew Hurst.

State Resources

The Texas Department of Emergency Management is asking people to fill out an online survey to help the agency better understand the damages that have occurred as a result of the winter weather.

The agency said it will use this information to prioritize recovery efforts in the most affected areas.

The survey asks respondents to pinpoint their location on a map and answer questions about the extent of the damage. It also asks for uploaded photos of the damage.

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