Recovery resources for Harvey victims

Aug. 31, 2017Houston Chronicle

Find a comprehensive list of recovery resources below.

Government assistance:

  • DisasterAssistance.gov: Fill out a questionnaire to begin the process of applying for federal aid from FEMA.
  • FEMA.gov: Apply for federal aid for recovery of storm-caused damages and loss. Call the FEMA helpline: 1-800-462-7585
  • HoustonRecovers.org: The central hub for information on Harvey recovery. It will be updated once emergency operations are completed. Call the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management for information: 3-1-1 or 713.837.0311
  • IRS.gov: For information on tax relief available for those living in the disaster areas. Call IRS customer service representatives at 800-829-1040, available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time
  • Texas Workforce Commission gives unemployment benefits to those who are out of work due to Hurricane Harvey, click here to apply. For questions, call 800-628-5115.

Housing assistance:

  • Rebuildinghouston.org helps senior, disabled and  veteran homeowners in Harris County with home rebuilding efforts. Call 713.659.2511 for more information.
  • Airbnb is helping find temporary housing for those displaced by the floods. +1-415-800-5959 call +1-855-424-7262 (toll-free)
  • Those eligible for FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance program may be able to stay at a participating hotel free of charge temporarily if they are unable to return home. For a list of participating hotels, click here. Contact FEMA to apply and with questions: 1-800-462-7585.
  • Harris County Housing and Community Resource Center helps with locating emergency shelter, rental property and financial assistance. Call them at 713-696-1998.

Legal assistance:

  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers are offering free legal assistance to those affected by Harvey.
  • The State Bar of Texas Disaster Hotline: (800) 504-7030. The hotline — answered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese — connects low-income people affected by a disaster with legal aid providers in their area who can help with such issues as replacing lost documents, answering insurance questions, helping with landlord-tenant problems, and handling consumer protection concerns such as price-gouging and contractor scams during the rebuilding process. Callers can leave a message at any time.
  • The Houston Bar Association  will host a live phone bank manned by licensed Texas lawyers – Monday through Friday, September 5 to 29, from 3 pm to 5 pm. Extended hours (5 pm to 9 pm) will be offered on Wednesday, September 6, and Wednesday, September 20. Simply call (713) 759-1133 during the hours of operation. The same service will be provided for Spanish-Speakers on Thursday, September 7, between the hours of 5 pm and 9 pm.
  • TexasLawHelp.org provides this list of legal advice articles for disaster recovery

Property assistance:

  • The National Flood Insurance Program answers questions for policyholders about the claims process at 800-621-3362
  • Search for your insurance company contact information here to make property loss claims.
  • To find a towed car, click here or call 832-394-4869
  • For clean-up assistance, contact CrisisCleanup.org, or call 1-800-451-1954 to report your need. In unincorporated Harris County, call the Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline: 713-274-3880.

Medical assistance:

  • The Houston Medical Wellness Clinic, 5910 Fairdale Lane, is offering free clinic visitations and free medications for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Dr. Jennifer LaBleu will see patients with non-emergent conditions and provide medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, infections, asthma and high cholesterol. When the supply of medications on hand are exhausted, prescriptions will be provided until more supplies can be delivered. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments may be made at (713) 781-1905.
  • A Disaster Distress helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.  It is run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

Business assistance:

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans to small businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace uninsured/underinsured disaster damaged property. Apply here or call 1-800-659-2955.

If you need to be rescued —

  • For a life-threatening emergency call 911 — but be prepared to wait
  • For a medical/functional emergency call 211
  • Call the Houston Police Department non-emergency helpline at 713-884-3131
  • Individuals needing rescue can call 281-238-3430
  • Groups who need to be picked up and taken to a shelter can call 713-426-9404
  • Coast Guard Harvey emergency response line: 202-372-2100. When you call, provide your name, number of people trapped, number of pets, address and telephone number.
  • If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 911 first, then your county emergency operation center —
  1. Brazoria Co.: 979-864-1064
  2. Montgomery Co.: 936-523-3900
  3. Harris Co.: 713-881-3100
  4. Galveston Co.: 281-309-5002
  • People in distress can call the following US Coast Guard numbers:

281-464-4851
281-464-4852
281-464-4853
281-464-4854
281-464-4855

For those with special needs, FEMA says two toll-free numbers will be operational from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice —

TTY users can call (800) 462-7585 directly
711 or Video Relay Services can call (800) 621-3362 directly
For information about shelters —

Call 311 for a list of open shelters in your area
The United Way helpline at 211 has a list of open shelters
Other services —

Click here to list yourself as safe.
Red Cross disaster assistance: 877-500-8645
Center Point Energy: 713-207-2222
National Emergency Child Locator Center: 1-866-908-9570
To report a missing child, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-866-908-9570
FEMA registration: 1-800-621-3362
State Bar of Texas legal hotline: 1-800-504-7030
Fort Bend Office of Emergency Management & Sheriff’s Office: 281-342-6185
If your car was towed in Harris County during the flood locate it here: 713-308-8580
If you need to talk to a professional about emotional distress, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746