County disaster assistance center opens doors

LA FERIA — FEMA disaster assistance is now available for Cameron County residents seven days a week.

FEMA officials and representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration were at hand yesterday for the opening of the county’s disaster assistance center located in the City of La Feria Safe Room, 1001 Pancho Maples Drive.

The center will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Also, free limited bus service to the center will be available Thursday through Saturday at several locations in La Feria, Santa Rosa, Combes and Harlingen.

For a complete list of the bus schedule and route, call Cameron County Emergency Management at (956) 547-7000.

Elizabeth Vargas, Public Information Officer of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said anyone can visit the center to ask for help and guidance.

“People can receive help as long as they meet the requirements and bring the documents we ask for,” she said.

Required documents include tax returns and a social security number.

The center is prepared to relocate and help as many people as possible as long as they meet the requirements, according to Vargas.

Different agencies are available to offer help, including the Texas Department of Insurance.

Housing and relocation assistance, as well as damage repairs, are available for anyone eligible, said Maria Padron, spokeswoman for FEMA.

“We are opening more centers, one in Raymondville and one in La Villa. All centers have workers that speak English and Spanish and an American Sign Language translator,” she said. “We want people to use the disaster grants wisely; spend it right for damage expenses only.”

According to Padron, $2.6 million have already been worked or donated.

“We already have completed more than 1,668 inspections in these three months,” she said.

What you need to know

WHAT: FEMA disaster assistance center

WHERE: City of La Feria Safe Room, 1001 Pancho Maples Drive

TIMES: Seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

INFO: (956) 547-7000.