Shelley Hendrix of Unlocking Autism has become the defacto disaster relief expert for autism families, simply because her non-profit is in Baton Rouge. Since FEMA still has no plan for autism families, they had to become the service org to take care of our families in Katrina and during the Baton Rouge floods last year.
To Members of the Autism Community in Texas/Louisiana Impacted by Harvey:
Please continue to register families of kids with ASD here. We have people on standby that can help them and counsel with them and pray with them and help them calm down. Other moms who know what this is like.
Critical Needs Assessment: FEMA may provide financial assistance to individuals and households who, as a result of the disaster, have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are life-saving and life-sustaining items including, but not limited to: water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items, and fuel for transportation. Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) is awarded under the Other Needs Assistance provision of the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and is subject to a state cost share. It is a one-time $500 payment per household. The State must request that FEMA authorize CNA in a disaster for specific geographic areas that are expected to be inaccessible for an extended period of time (i.e., seven days or longer). The eligibility period for CNA corresponds to the standard registration period for IHP, which is 60 days from the date of the Presidential disaster declaration.
Individuals and households may be eligible for CNA if all of the following have been met:
- A registration is completed with FEMA;
- The applicant passes identity verification;
- At registration, the applicant asserts that they have critical needs and requests financialassistance for those needs and expenses;
- Their pre-disaster primary residence is located in a county that is designated for CNA; an
- The applicant is displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster.
Transitional Shelter Assistance: FEMA may provide Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) to applicants who are unable to return to their pre-disaster primary residence because their home is either unihabitaable or inaccessible due to a Presidentially-declared disaster. TSA is intended to reduce the number of disaster survivors in congregate shelters by transitioning survivors into short-term accomodations through direct payments to lodging providers. TSA does not count toward an applicant’s maximum amount of assistance available under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP).
TSA is funded under Section 403 of the Stafford Act and is subject to a state cost-share. The State may request that FEMA authorize the use of TSA for the declared disaster in specific geographic areas.
The affected state, territorial, or tribal government may request TSA. This form of assistance may be considered when the scale and projected duration of the declared incident results in an extended displacement of disaster survivors. The state, territorial, or tribal government, in coordination with FEMA, identifies areas that are inaccessible or that incurred damage which prevents disaster survivors from returning to their pre-disaster primary residence for an extended period of time.
Under TSA, disaster survivors may be eligible to stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time and have the cost of the room and taxes covered by FEMA. For those who are eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund, through direct payments to participating hotels/ motels, the use of hotels/motels as transitional shelters. The applicant is responsible for all other costs associated with lodging and amenities, including, but not limted to incidental room charges or amenities, such as telephone, room service, food, etc.
The initial period of assistance will be 5-14 (adjustable to 30 days, if needed) days from date of TSA implementation. FEMA, in conjunction with the state, territorial, or tribal government, may extend this period of assistance, if needed, in 14-day intervals for up to six months from the date of disaster declaration.
Individuals and households who are not eligible for TSA will be referred to local agencies or voluntary organizations for possible assistance.
Individuals and households may be eligible for TSA, if:
- Register with FEMA for assistance
- Pass identity and citizenship verification
- Their pre-disaster primary residence is located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA
- As a result of the disaster, they are displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence
- They are unable to obtain lodging through another source
FEMA provides eligible applicants access to a list of approved hotels in their area, and applicants may choose to stay at any approved hotel or facility identified by FEMA. The list of approved hotels is available at http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php or the FEMA Helpline. FEMA provides applicants with access and functional needs additional assistance in locating approved hotels to meet their needs.
FEMA bases the amount of TSA on the maximum lodging rate plus taxes for the locality, as identified by the General Services Administration (GSA).
When FEMA extends TSA eligible applicants are allowed to remain in transitional sheltering through the end of the extended interval if they are otherwise eligible for IHP Assistance, or both
of the following apply:
- FEMA is currently considering the applicant’s eligibility for Temporary Housing Assistance or is waiting for documentation from the applicant needed to consider eligibility
- They meet other conditions of eligibility established by FEMA and the coordinating state, territorial, or tribal government
- If an applicant who is receiving TSA is approved for Rental Assistance, their TSA-eligibility will terminate at the end of the 14-day interval.
- Applicants who are not eligible for IHP Assistance may only remain in transitional sheltering until their TSA interval expires.
FEMA Shares Hurricane Harvey Resources for Texas Survivors, Volunteers:
- To find friends and family or to register yourself as safe, visit: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/
- Anyone needing help (not a life-threatening emergency): 211
- To find a shelter, visit www.Redcross.org/shelter or call 800-RED-CROSS
- To report a missing child, contact the National Emergency Child Locator Center: 866-908-9570
- To talk to a professional who can help you cope with emotional distress from the storm, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, visit http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov, or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
HARRIS COUNTY specific:
- Virtual Volunteer Office: readyharris.org
- Coast Guard Rescue Houston Area: 281-464-4851, *4852, *4853, *4584, *4855
- Towed Cars (Houston): 713-308-8580; www.findmytowedcar.com
- Anyone wanting to volunteer statewide: www.NVOAD.org
- Contractors: http://www.fema.gov/about-industry-liaison-program or Google “FEMA Industry”
- Independent drivers/haulers: Coyote Logistics, https://www.coyote.com/,
- 877-6-COYOTE 877-626-9683
- Group drivers/haulers: www.GSA.gov, 844-GSA-4111 (844-472-4111)
- FEMA local hire positions are being posted in www.USAJOBS.gov under Customer Representatives
- Anyone wanting to be a FEMA reservist: https://careers.fema.gov/reservists-program