City teams with FEMA, SBA on disaster aid info

HARLINGEN — If your property was damaged from the severe storms and flooding the Valley experienced in June, there’s still time to receive help with applying for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid.

After receiving a couple dozen FEMA-related questions from the public, the city of Harlingen wants to clear up any confusion the community may have while registering and applying for FEMA assistance.

“We want our community to be well informed. If they have any questions or if they have any doubts, whether it’s a big question or a small question, no question is too big and no question is too small,” Harlingen’s public relations officer Irma Garza said in a phone interview yesterday.

The city of Harlingen wants its community to know that every case is different and just because one family didn’t qualify for help, doesn’t mean that “you’re not going to get help.” Every case is taken on an individual basis.

FEMA is encouraging everyone affected by the storms in June to register even if they’ve been denied, because you may still be eligible to obtain a Small Business Administration Loan.

“So, you may qualify for something and who knows, it might be more than what you thought and any little bit of help definitely goes a long way,” Garza said.

FEMA representatives have been going door-to-door in Harlingen and visited about 400 to 500 homes. That’s on top of the ones that had already registered before they started going door-to door.

“By the time that they’re done in a week or so, they’re thinking that it’s going to be about 800 homes that they visited that did have damage. That’s a lot of people,” Garza said.

The city of Harlingen understands that the recovery process can be overwhelming to people affected by any type of disaster. That’s why they want to make things easier for people who have questions and help them get up and get going once again.

“One question is enough for us to want to respond,” Garza said.

“It doesn’t have to be dozens of questions. If one person has a question, then we want to do everything we can to give them that answer,” Garza added.

More Information

If You Go

What: Disaster Relief Efforts Public Forum

Where: Casa de Amistad, 1204 Fair Park Blvd.

When: Today, 6 to 8 p.m.

Questions received about FEMA

• The inspector already came. What’s the next step?

• When can I start cleaning?

• Does an inspector need to come and see the damage before I start cleaning up?

• Take pictures and do whatever repairs you need to do and move it out because mold develops very fast.

• did receive money, but I don’t know if I can use it yet? Is there a waiting period for me to wait?

• What happens next? Can I spend my money?

FEMA application deadline

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Options for registering

By phone: 1-800-621-3362

Online: for English

Online: for Spanish

In person: Cameron County Disaster Recovery Center, 1001 Pancho Maples Dr. in La Feria