Gov. Perry Announces Plan to Distribute Disaster Relief Funds to Texans
Fund Will Help Texans Recover from Devastating Effects of Hurricane Rita
Gov. Rick Perry today announced that more than $3 million that has been donated to the Texas Disaster Relief Fund will be distributed to individuals and organizations in the 22 counties included in the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Rita.
"The generosity of dozens of individuals and companies allow us to extend a helping hand to Texans in need as a result of the devastation of Hurricane Rita," Perry said. "Traditional disaster recovery programs often cannot meet all the needs of individuals whose lives have been upended. The poor, the elderly and residents with disabilities - as well as minorities and rural residents - are most likely those who need additional help in getting back on their feet."
The grants will be awarded to the counties under a formula based on the number of disaster assistance applications in each county and can be used to address needs not covered by traditional disaster recovery programs, such as those operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross.
Unmet needs most likely include such things as purchasing building materials to repair damaged homes; replacing furnishings, clothing and medicines; repairing vehicles damaged in the storm; covering costs of relocating to a home; and obtaining crisis counseling or disaster mental health services.
To be eligible for Texas Disaster Relief Fund grants, each county must establish an Unmet Needs Committee, or activate an existing donations management committee already established as part of their emergency management plan. These committees will review requests for financial assistance and also will be encouraged to seek out local charitable organizations that may serve as a clearinghouse for matching individual or family needs with local resources. Committees will apply to their county for funds.
Maximum awards that will be granted are:
# $1,250 to an individual;
# $1,900 to a household of two persons;
# $2,300 to a household of three;
# $2,750 to a household of four or more;
# Variable amounts to local charitable organizations, up to the amount of a county's grant allocation.
Texas Disaster Relief Fund grants will be administered by the Governor's Division of Emergency Management, which also administers a number of federal disaster recovery grants for the state. Funds will be distributed in two increments: 75 percent will be awarded as soon as a county formally accepts the grant award it will received, based on the formula; the remainder will be distributed once a county verifies it has distributed funding under the first installment.
Counties also will be require to provide reports detailing the number of grants, the amount of each and how the funds were used. All Texas Disaster Relief Funds must be distributed by May 2006.
For a complete list of the eligible counties and the amount of their grants, please visit http://www.governor.state.tx.us/priorities/health_safety/hurricane/files/TDRF_Allocation.xls. A copy of the grant application also is available at http://www.governor.state.tx.us/priorities/health_safety/hurricane/files/TDRFGrantAward.doc.