City of Houston Opens Pilot Neighborhood Restoration Center in Northeast Houston for Harvey Flood Survivors
The City of Houston, along with local non-profit organization partners, opened the first Neighborhood Restoration Center at the Kashmere Multi-Service Center on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, as part of a pilot program aimed at connecting Houstonians affected by Harvey with recovery services.
As part of this ongoing effort, a Neighborhood Restoration Center will be open at the Kashmere Multi-Service Center, located at 4802 Lockwood Dr., Houston, TX 77028 every Wednesday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. to provide information, and connect survivors with resources, such as: legal aid, mental health and wellness, home repair and rebuilding information, employment help, and housing counselors. Case management services at the Center are being provided by BakerRipley and the Houston Area Urban League.
Disaster-focused non-profit organizations, churches, businesses, governmental agencies, and volunteer groups are urged to join this collaborative effort. The City expects the number of participants and partners to expand each week as word of this initiative grows, with additional locations expected to roll out in the near future.
City Departments participating in the program include:
- Department of Neighborhoods, New Americans & Immigrant Communities
- Department of Neighborhoods, Mayor’s Citizens’ Assistance Office
- Houston Public Works – Houston Permitting Center
- Office of Business Opportunity
- Housing & Community Development Department
- Houston Health Department
- Houston Health Department – Area Agency on Aging
- Office of Emergency Management
- Solid Waste Management Department
Additionally, some area non-profit agencies are providing case management, and access to recovery services, including:
- All Hands Volunteers, Inc.
- Care Connection – Aging and Disability Resource Center
- Northeast Next Door Redevelopment Council
Houston residents in need of assistance related to Harvey recovery, who cannot come to the center are asked to call Texas 2-1-1 (877-541-7905), so a trained case manager can be made aware of their individual needs, and connect them with recovery services.
Additional information on Houston’s disaster recovery can be found at houstonrecovers.org.
Public Invited to Harvey Recovery Fair in Atascocita Area
WHAT: Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fair
WHEN: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE: Atascocita High School Cafeteria, 13300 Will Clayton Pkwy, Atascocita, TX 77346
(Houston, Texas) – The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and State Representative Dan Huberty (HD-127) invite residents affected by Hurricane Harvey to a recovery fair at Atascocita High School.
The Harvey Recovery Fair will provide important information about available disaster assistance from both governmental and non-profit organizations. Representatives from Harris County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other volunteer agencies will be available to answer questions and help residents apply for disaster assistance. Free dry food and bottled water will be available for residents attending. Free flu and tetanus shots will be available from 12 to 4 p.m.
- Office of Harris County Judge Ed Emmett
- Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
- Office of State Representative Dan Huberty (HD-127)
- Office of Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle
- Office of Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis
- Office of Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman
- Harris County Community Services Department
- Harris County Flood Control District
- Harris County Public Library
- Harris County Public Health Services
- U.S. Administration of Children and Families – Immediate Disaster Case Management
- United Way of Greater Houston
- Lone Star Legal Aid
- Workforce Solutions
- Catholic Charities
- The Salvation Army
- Houston Food Bank
- Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Heart to Heart International
- UTHealth School of Public Health – Southwest Center for Occupational & Environmental Health
Applicants May Appeal an Initial FEMA Determination Letter
AUSTIN, Texas – Hurricane Harvey survivors who registered with FEMA for disaster assistance have the right to appeal the agency’s decision in the determination letter.
The initial FEMA determination letter is intended to explain which category of assistance was processed and the decision made, including amount. The letter will also explain what action can be taken if the amount is insufficient or the decision is ineligible, and if any additional information should be provided for the decision to be reconsidered. It is imperative that all applicants carefully read their determination letter. Should they have any questions, believe the decision was made in error, or wish to provide additional information, they may contact FEMA to file an appeal.
All appeals must be made in the form of a signed letter within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. In the appeal, applicants should clearly explain why they disagree with the decision. The appeal should include any requested information and supporting documentation. If the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household, a statement must be included granting authorization to the writer to act on the applicant’s behalf.
All appeals letters must include the following:
- Applicant’s full name, date of birth and current address
- Applicant’s signature and the date
- Applicant’s registration number (on every page)
- FEMA disaster declaration number – DR-4332 (on every page)
Additionally, applicants must include a copy of a state-issued identification card with the letter. In the event that the applicant is unable to include proof of identification, the letter may be notarized or include the statement “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
Letters and supporting documentation may be uploaded quickly to an applicant’s account on DisasterAssistance.gov, faxed to 800-827-8112 with the cover sheet provided with the FEMA determination letter; or submitted at a Disaster Recovery Center where assistance is also available to assist applicants with ensuring all necessary documents are included. Letters may also be sent by mail to:
- National Processing Service Center
- P.O. Box 10055
- Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
For more information visit the Regional Joint Information Center website at www.readyharris.org
Harvey Survivors Should Stay in Touch with FEMA
If you registered for disaster assistance following Hurricane Harvey, stay in touch with FEMA.
Missing or outdated information, such as phone numbers or addresses, can delay help.
The easiest way to update your application, check your status or provide missing information is to create an account at DisasterAssistance.gov where you can:
- update your current mailing address or phone number;
- receive information on the status of your home inspection;
- find out if FEMA needs more information about your application;
- update payment preferences;
- learn how to appeal an eligibility determination;
- get answers to other questions about your application; or
- upload personal documents.
You can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for face-to-face assistance with a FEMA specialist. To find the nearest DRC, visit http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.
If you don’t have internet access, or require services not offered on the website, call the FEMA Helpline at (800) 621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS, TTY (800) 462-7585) between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. To minimize wait times, call during off-peak hours (early morning or late night).
Callers should refer to their nine-digit registration number, which is located on all communications received from FEMA and helps us assist you.
Volunteer Reception Center Opens to Assist in Harvey Recovery Effective Volunteer Coordination Crucial for Rebuilding Success
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Houston, TX) – Points of Light, with support of its local affiliate Volunteer Houston, is standing up a disaster recovery team and opening a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) at Harris County Precinct One’s Finnigan Park Community Center, 4900 Providence Street, Houston, Texas 77020, where it is currently signing up volunteers to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery. The VRC provides a central location for the public to learn about and sign up for volunteer opportunities throughout the area.
“It is all about neighbor helping neighbor,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “Volunteers immediately came together during the search and rescue efforts and now they are stepping up to help rebuild their communities.”
Harris County, the City of Houston and Points of Light’s Houston disaster recovery team are working together to help coordinate volunteer opportunities that will speed up recovery efforts in the area. Volunteers are integral in every disaster and are core to a community’s recovery. Volunteer management and training is fundamental to community rebuilding efforts and resilience. Points of Light’s team will coordinate, train and deploy volunteers into roles that meet critical community need.
Points of Light has a more direct connection with the Houston community because it is home to the organization’s founder, President George H. W. Bush, and his family.
“A half mile from my home an entire neighborhood, like so many communities near a bayou, was flooded. But just down the street we found inspiration. A neighborhood darkened by flood damage was shining with the bright light of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Neil Bush, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Points of Light. “Times of disaster are devastating but they also remind us of the spirit of compassion that binds the fabric of our nation together. I’m proud that Points of Light and Volunteer Houston are able to harness this spirit of compassion for direct impact in our community.”
Community recovery is dependent on the strength of the voluntary sector to identify and meet acute needs of survivors who face loss of a home or possibly the loss of their livelihoods, and volunteers will take on the majority of tasks required to help communities get back on their feet in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
“Our community’s resilience is directly impacted by the work that volunteers are doing in our communities,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This center will provide a central location for ensuring their skills, talents, and time are effectively used.”
At the VRC, volunteers will:
- Participate in a safety briefing
- Receive volunteer assignments for the day
- Help make a difference in the lives of Houstonians
Volunteers can also go to http://www.volunteerhou.org/drm/needs/ to register and sign up!
For more information visit the Regional Joint Information Center website at www.readyharris.org
TD 16 becomes a tropical storm over the SW Caribbean Sea
Tropical storm or hurricane increasingly likely into Louisiana this weekend.
While the system has only become slightly better organized overnight, it has gained enough organization to be upgraded to a tropical storm. Satellite images this morning show a rather disorganized system with some banding, but a difficult to locate center compared to yesterday. The low level center is likely on the western edge of the limited deep convection and not far off the coast of Nicaragua.
As mentioned yesterday evening there was significant track differences between the GFS and ECMWF much of which was hinging on the amount of high pressure that would build east of FL this weekend. Overnight the ECMWF has come into much better agreement with the GFS of much more significant ridging off the FL east coast. There is now much better agreement with the GFS, ECWMF, CMC, and UKMET all showing a NW to NNW track through the NW Caribbean Sea, the central Gulf of Mexico and toward the Louisiana coast. As the ridge off the FL east coast intensifies this weekend, Nate will begin to accelerate rapidly toward the NNW. Nate will enter the Gulf early Saturday morning and rapidly move NNW toward the Louisiana coast making landfall in just over 24 hours (Sunday AM) after entering the Gulf. Once Nate arrives in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday morning, there will be little time for preparation.
American Red Cross Hosts Kingwood Resource Event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2017
Contact: Jessica Beemer (832) 393-3008
Houston, TX - Houston City Council Member Dave Martin would like to invite Kingwood and Lake Houston residents to visit the American Red Cross on Monday, October 9 or Tuesday, October 10 anytime between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Kingwood Community Center, located at 4102 Rustic Woods, Kingwood, TX 77345. The purpose of the resource event is to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey with registering for financial assistance through the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross' Immediate Assistance Program, through donations, seeks to provide emergency assistance in the amount of $400 to qualified households that were directly affected by Hurricane Harvey. Registration for this program is open through Tuesday, October 10 and can be completed by following this link.
Additionally, American Red Cross representatives will be onsite to assist with those in the Kingwood and Lake Houston area that may have been denied financial assistance due to error. The representatives will also be able help connect residents with the resources they may need to further recovery efforts from the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey. If you would like to register for Red Cross Financial Assistance before attending Monday and Tuesday's event please visit: https://harveyhelp.redcross.org/index.html.
Tropical system is organizing in the SW Caribbean Sea…expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the US Gulf coast.
An area of low pressure has formed in the extreme SW Caribbean Sea today and recent satellite images suggest that a tropical cyclone is gradually forming with a large curved band of convection having developed. There is no well defined center at this time, but instead a large broad area of circulation. Overall the system is organizing as it moves toward the NNW. The NHC currently gives the system a 70% chance of formation over the next 5 days.
Public Invited to Harvey Recovery Fair
WHO: Residents affected by Hurricane Harvey
WHAT: Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fair
WHEN: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE: North East Community Center (at James Driver Park), 10918 ½ Bentley, Houston, TX 77093
(Houston, Texas) – The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management invites residents affected by Hurricane Harvey to a recovery fair at the Harris County Precinct 2 North East Community Center.
The Harvey Recovery Fair will provide important recovery information about available disaster assistance from both governmental and non-profit organizations. Representatives from Harris County, the City of Houston, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other volunteer agencies will be available to answer questions and help residents apply for disaster assistance. Free MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) available for residents attending.
City of Houston Harvey Recovery Update
As Houston homeowners rebuild, it's important to ensure that you have the proper permits to move forward. The Houston Permitting Center is making this easier by opening satellite permitting centers throughout the City and has extended hours at all locations. For a list of locations, and tips making repairs to your homes, visit houstonrecovers.org/repairtips
Unusually High Water Bills Reported as a Result of Harvey Flooding
The City of Houston and Houston Public Works take seriously the fact that some properties affected by flooding have received unusually high water bills. There are approximately 5,000 customer accounts that have water bills that are twice as much (or more) as the previous billing cycle.
The mayor is working with City Council and Houston Public Works to better understand how this happened and how to correct it. For updates, and steps you can take if you have experienced a high water bill related to Harvey, visit houstonrecovers.org/highbills
If you need more rental assistance because you’re still unable to return to your Harvey-damaged home, let FEMA know. FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
To be eligible for continued rental assistance, you must complete a form and mail it to FEMA. If you did not receive the form, visit any Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). For a list and interactive map of DRCs in the Houston area, visit houstonrecovers.org/disaster-recovery-centers.
Report Your Debris
The City's Solid Waste Management Department is working to remove debris as quickly as possible throughout Houston. Be sure the City knows about your damage and debris by submitting a report on houston311.org or on the Houston 311 App for Smartphone. Please note that calling 311 repeatedly will not increase the speed by which your debris is collected. For information on debris management, visit houstonrecovers.org
Harvey by the Numbers
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the launch of the "Harvey By The Numbers" web site on Friday. The site provides visualized information about Houston's response to Harvey, as well as on storm debris collection. This site will be updated periodically as Houston's recovery from Harvey continues. To access the latest numbers, visit houstonrecovers.org/numbers.
Governor Abbott and Mayor Turner Announce Funding For Houston
On Friday, September 29, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Governor Greg Abbott held a news conference at Houston City Hall to announce that the State of Texas will provide $50 million to the City of Houston to offset the cost associated with Houston's response to Harvey. This additional funding will mean that Houston will not need to raise property taxes slightly to cover the cost of response. Watch the press conference online at twitter.com/houstontx.
Helpful Recovery Links
FEMA - Disaster Assistance
US Small Business Administration
211 Texas - Social Service Directory
Houston Food Bank
Report Debris/Issues to the City
City of Houston Help & Information
3-1-1 or 713.837.0311
FEMA Disaster Assistance
FEMA Individual Case Management Hotline (help navigating available services)
Houston Food Bank Assistance
AlertHouston is a service provided by the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management.