County: Damage reporting by citizens required to receive FEMA help

Kerr County officials are urging citizens with damage from Winter Storm Uri to log onto https://arcg.is/uOrOb and report damages in an effort to inform FEMA of the catastrophic result citizens were left with following the storm.

All Kerr County homeowners and business owners who suffered damages to their properties during the recent, extreme winter storm are being asked by their county officials to report the destruction – no matter how minor or extensive.

“You may not think that reporting your damages is a big deal in the overall scheme of things, but I can tell you that doing so may be critically important for our whole county,” said Kerr County Emergency Management Coordinator William B. “Dub” Thomas.

Why Reporting Matters

“We need every single property owner who suffered damages of any degree from the storm to complete this task. Why? Because, literally, it may mean the difference between local citizens receiving federal funds to repair and recover from their losses,” Thomas said.

To date, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Kerr County to receive “public assistance” only. That means, federal funding will be provided to fix elements of local infrastructure that were impaired by the storm.

However, FEMA has yet to approve Kerr County for “individual assistance” – federal money that would be sent directly to individual property owners to help with their own recovery.

“Having everyone report their damages is vital, because FEMA will review the survey’s results to decide whether or not we will be approved for any federal aid for individual citizens,” Thomas said.

“This storm did a real number on us. Our county suffered big-time damage. I have no doubt in my mind that we have enough destruction in all reaches of the county that, if enough people reported their individual storm trauma, then FEMA would see clearly that we had an extensive disaster here and there is a real need for federal funding for individual qualifying Kerr County residents,” he added.

How to Report Damages

To fill out the survey on damages caused by the winter disaster, call the toll-free number, 1-844-844-3089, or visit online https://arcg.is/uOrOb.

“Please either call the above number or visit the online portal to report damages. These are the only methods that matter for us in Kerr County right now,” Thomas said, adding that there is some confusion among citizens about where to turn in information about their storm-related injuries. No one should use the FEMA website or anything other than the one provided above, because doing so would be a dead-end effort.

“Kerr County residents are strong and independent. They see the trauma inflicted upon their properties and they immediately start a plan on how to get things back to normal. I applaud their perseverance. I also assure them that reporting their damages is not a sign of weakness or dependence. In this case, it is one of the most kind, neighborly things they could possibly do,” Thomas added.

Farmers, Ranchers

Any farmers or ranchers in Kerr County who may have lost crops or livestock due to the storm, there are separate federal assistance programs available to them, as well, Thomas said.

The USDA Farm Service Agency for this area – the Kerr-Bandera County Farm Service Agency, is located at 2104 Memorial Boulevard in Kerrville. It may be reached by calling 830-896-4911, extension 2. Its mailing address is 2104 Memorial Boulevard, Ste 105, Kerrville, TX, 78028.

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