Hurricane Harvey Recovery: Filing Claims, Contact Info, and More

HOW TO HELP

After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and companies who want to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Honorable Ed Emmett established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that accepts tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by the recent floods. Click here to donate.

Below is the mailing address:
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
Greater Houston Community Foundation
ATTN: Gift Processor
5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000
Houston, TX 77056

FILING A CLAIM: HOW & WHEN

  • If possible, file your homeowner’s claim regarding damage from Hurricane Harvey or the flood as soon as possible.
    • All neighborhood libraries and multi-service centers provide computer access or complimentary wi-fi. A mobile hotspot can be checked out for three weeks from the Houston Public Library here.
  • Tell the insurance company your home or business suffered damage as a result of Hurricane Harvey or the flood and that the communication is intended to serve as notice of your claim
  • Document the damage with pictures and video of damage to your structure and belongings, paying close attention to your valuables.. If possible, include a list of damaged personal items, including the date of purchase and approximate value of any damaged items.
  • DO NOT THROW DAMAGED ITEMS AWAY BEFORE YOU REPORT THEM AS DAMAGED WITH YOU INSURANCE.
  • KEEP RECEIPTS for all flood-repair purchases, experts advise
  • Please ensure the date you make your claim is clearly displayed on your written notice to your insurance company
    • Include your full name, address, and insurance policy number if you can
    • Keep a copy for your records

WINDSTORM INSURANCE


FLOOD INSURANCE

  • If your house flooded, your claim will most likely be governed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which has strict proof requirements and any lawsuits must be filed in federal court
  • If your home flooded, and there is also water coming into your home from above (i.e. a leak in the roof), it is likely windstorm damage.
    • If so, you should file a claim with your private insurer under your homeowner’s policy IN ADDITION TO filing a flood claim under your NFIP flood policy
  • Since the federal government issued a disaster proclamation, limited non-insurance related assistance will be available. Click here for information and to see if you qualify.

INSPECTING YOUR PROPERTY

  • If you’ve been displaced, do NOT return to your property until local authorities have declared the area safe.
    • Contact 3-1-1 to find out if it’s safe to return to your area.
    • If you smell gas in the air, leave the area immediately and report it to authorities.
    • If you have suffered water damage or other damage in your roof, walls, or foundation, contact an electrician before flipping any switches.

IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION

For disaster-related requests for food, clothing, evacuation, transportation assistance, or other immediate assistance, please contact the Red Cross or 2-1-1 Texas:
Houston Police Department: 713-884-3131
Harris County Sheriff’s Office: 713-695-2111

To report a power outage, call CenterPoint Energy:
713-695-2111

To report flooding, call 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311


SHELTER INFORMATION

Below, please find a list of shelters open in partnership with the Red Cross, the City of Houston, and Harris County as of August 31, 2017. For an updated list of shelters in Houston, please click here.
  • NRG Center (1 NRG Park)
  • Toyota Center (1510 Polk Street)
  • MO Campbell Center (1865 Aldine Bender Road)
  • Golden Acres Baptist Church (2813 Pansy Street)
  • Forge for Families (3435 Dixie)
  • Pasadena High School (206 South Shaver, Pasadena)
  • AT CAPACITY: George R. Brown Convention Center (1001 Avenida de las Americas)

FEMA

Since the federal government issued a disaster proclamation, limited non-insurance related assistance will be available. If your house is flooded, please register with FEMA immediately, especially if you do not have insurance coverage.


SNAP & WIC

In response to Hurricane Harvey, Texans who recieve SNAP food benefits can buy hot food such as rotisserie chicken and prepared foods from a store’s deli through Sept. 30 at retailers who accept SNAP.
WIC families who evacuated and lost or left behind WIC foods or formula already purchased can get replacement food benefits. Click here or call 1-800-942-3678 for more information. If you are in an area affected by Hurricane Harvey, please press option 3 to speak with an operator during business hours to find an open location near you.

President’s Cuts to FEMA Will Hurt Texas

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Congress passed an aid package of $120 billion dollars for cleanup and response after Hurricane Katrina. Many Texas officials, including the Governor of Texas, believe the relief Texas needs following Harvey will exceed what was needed in New Orleans following Katrina. Unfortunately, President Trump’s budget for 2018 calls for cutting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) state and local program grants by $667 million beginning beginning October 1. Instead, the State Department recommended state and local government start incurring the costs of emergency preparedness.
The President’s budget proposal also calls for the elimination of the National Flood Insurance Program run by FEMA, which provides affordable flood insurance and cuts to the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program which aims to help states, local governments, and communities implement long-term measures to reduce risks and losses from disasters.

Cutting funds for FEMA would have dire effects on the recovery in Texas and throughout the country. 

Click here to read more.


Mayor Turner Made Right Call By Not Evacuating

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Ed Emmett made the right call by not evacuating Houston. The Rita evacuation was a disaster that caused more than 100 deaths in Texas. Read below or click here for the New York Times article I’m quoted in about the Rita evacuation in 2005.


Our song of the week comes from Houston:

“Aric Harding had returned to his home in Friendswood, just south of Houston, to collect some toys for his kids who were sheltering nearby. He told CNN that his son, a keen piano player, had asked him to check on the family piano.

‘I decided to take a moment and play and take it all in,’ he said.

Harding captured the moment on video and posted it to Instagram, with a message reflecting on the damage Harvey has wrought.

‘I think it’s all finally sinking in a little. What we used to have going as a city is gone,’ he wrote. ‘I really think God is going to do something completely new here. I am excited to see the new beauty in the suffering.’

As reported by TIME. Click here to read.

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