FEMA disaster recovery center opens in Edna (w/video)

Ismael Perez By Ismael Perez

Sept. 2, 2017 at 9:27 p.m.
Updated Sept. 3, 2017 at 6 a.m.

A FEMA mobile command center is parked at Cowboy Stadium in Edna.

A FEMA mobile command center is parked at Cowboy Stadium in Edna.   Sam Hankins for The Victoria Advocate

EDNA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency set up a disaster recovery center Saturday in a small town 25 miles from Victoria.

The FEMA center is in the Edna High School Cowboy Stadium parking lot.

FEMA representatives at the center provide guidance about the services available for those who suffered damage after Harvey, said Carmen Rodriguez, public information officer.

As of Saturday, 427,000 Texans have registered for assistance, which she described as something "unprecedented," she said.

The first day in Edna, more than 100 Crossroads residents registered.

Across the state, about 50,000 people have been registering daily, and over 100,000 Texans already have received assistance.

Rodriguez said FEMA decided to place a center in Edna because it had safe roads and was in good condition compared with surrounding cities. Also, Edna is more accessible for Crossroads residents and communities to the east.

People who cannot travel to Edna because of health conditions or lack of transportation may call FEMA and ask for a representative to visit their home.

"FEMA evaluates places closely," she said. "We don't want to put the persons in more risk."

Rodriguez said the FEMA representatives at the center help people register and introduce them to programs that can help.

She mentioned programs like the Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Critical Needs Assistance and Transitional Shelter Assistance.

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program helps people who have lost a job because of Harvey.

The Critical Needs Assistance program gives $500 in advance to those who don't have money because they used it to evacuate or of an unexpected expense.

For people who lost their homes or had their lease terminated by their apartment, the Transitional Shelter Assistance program helps them by paying for FEMA approved hotel or a rental.

For residents who wish to be closer to home or to their workplace, Rodriguez said they can submit to FEMA information on the house or apartment location, who the landlord is and the cost of rent.

Landlords who want their house or apartments listed in the FEMA list of places available for rent should call FEMA and ask to be put on the list.

"You don't need to suffer from a lack of water, food, clothes or shelter," she said. "Call and let us know on your particular condition. There is assistance available."

Rodriguez said the center was for people who want further explanation on the registration process and like face-to-face communication. However, FEMA encourages the community to register online because that is the fastest way.

The time it takes for the application to be processed depends on the person's situation and how clean their application is.

Rodriguez encouraged people to be calm because not everybody is going to get assistance slower or faster than others.

It is not known how long the FEMA center in Edna will be offered in the Crossroads.

"We will be here as long as the state needs us," Rodriguez said.



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