Yesterday, the office of Governor Greg Abbott released a public statement announcing that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "has approved an additional 31 Texas counties to be added to the President's Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance."

Abbott's intent was to request this assistance for every county in Texas. That request was made on February 13. As of February 20, a partial approval came from the White House, including 77 counties who would be able to receive "Individual Assistance" while only Public Assistance would be given for all 254. Public Assistance means "Emergency Protective Measures only."

The press release also announced that more counties may be re-requested "as the State of Texas continues to receive information reported from individuals who have suffered damage from the winter storm."

What does that mean for you? If you've suffered damage to your self or personal property, there is a form you can fill out called the Texas Division of Emergency Management's Tool, or (TIART). You can find that form here.

Filling out this form will help the Texas government get a better idea of additional damages incurred within our East Texas counties which will in turn help them make a case for more support.

Individual assistance (versus "Public Assistance" alone) can "include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Many East Texas counties have already been included for possible Individual Assistance in the originally approved Texas Disaster Declaration. This most recent one also adds Gregg and Harrison counties to the list.

You can read the full Texas Disaster Declaration here.

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