Tuesday, January 28, 2014

FEMA Refuses Aid & Obama Denies Declaration

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has refused to extend aid to Texans devastated by Halloween floods.

Governor Rick Perry had declared the damage the Oct. 31, '13 flooding brought upon businesses and homeowners ins several Texas counties as a state level disaster. Of the affected counties, Hays, Caldwell and Travis Counties were the hardest hit.  The US Small Business Administration extended limited loans and grants to some of the affected areas, including all 11 of the counties impacted by the flooding. The full list of counties includes: Caldwell, Hays, Travis, Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Comal, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe and Williamson Counties.

Perry then requested that Obama declare the flooding a national disaster and extend further federal relief programs. Some agencies were directed to assist. However, it appears that the presidential order was limited in scope. Many of the federal programs that would actually benefit the victims of the floods have been denied.

Governor Perry has since filed an appeal, hoping that Obama reconsiders and directs federal agencies to act accordingly.

"The communities affected by the Halloween floods have been left with devastating financial burdens. Texas is utilizing all available resources to meet the needs of these families and businesses in Central Texas, but the damage is of such magnitude that federal individual assistance is necessary. I urge President Barack Obama to immediately grant the assistance that these Texans need to recover and rebuild their lives."

According to the Governor's Office, the programs specifically managed by FEMA residents of the flooded areas require include:

• Transitional Sheltering Assistance
• Other Needs Assistance
• Disaster Legal Services
• Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
• Disaster Unemployment Assistance
• Crisis Counseling

Governor Rick Perry's Jan. 25, '14 letter of appeal to Obama is available at this link