Texas disaster declaration partially approved by President Biden

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced President Joe Biden gave partial approval for the Major Disaster Declaration issued for Texas counties affected by severe weather and flooding which began on April 26.

This declaration enables eligible Texans to apply for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance Program for expenses such as temporary housing, emergency home repairs, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses, disaster legal services, disaster unemployment assistance, and medical, dental, and funeral expenses caused by the disaster.

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Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker County are approved for the program.

"The partial approval of my Presidential Disaster Declaration request is a crucial step in the right direction in helping Texans rebuild and recover from recent severe weather events," said Governor Abbott. "I thank President Biden and his administration’s assistance as Texas continues to respond to severe weather and flooding across the state. Texas is working around-the-clock to provide all necessary resources to help Texans move forward from these devastating storms."

Additionally, the declaration provides statewide access to FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and authorizes SBA Disaster Loan Program resources for the approved counties.

Governor Abbott's request for FEMA's Public Assistance program, which covers emergency work and repairs in 26 counties, is still under review. This program helps with costs related to debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repairs of public infrastructure.

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Governor Abbott outlined the state’s proactive measures, to help support local communities from the impacts of severe weather, including:

  • Preparing state emergency response resources on April 25 ahead of wildfire and severe weather threats.
  • Issuing and amending disaster declarations in response to the storms on April 30.
  • Increasing the State Emergency Operations Center’s readiness level.
  • Holding a briefing on May 6 to update on state response efforts with local and state officials from impacted areas
  • Requesting the Presidential Disaster Declaration on May 15 for Texas communities impacted by severe storms.

Governor Abbott continues to coordinate with local, state, and federal partners to ensure comprehensive support for all affected communities.