Help Available for Texans with Access and Functional Needs

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FEMA is committed to providing equal access and delivery of our programs to Texans who were affected by the severe winter storms that began Feb. 11, 2021. That includes anyone requiring specialized assistance. FEMA’s guidance is intended to ensure that individuals who have access and functional needs receive lawful and equal assistance before, during and after a disaster.
Who is Included?
People who need assistance due to any condition, whether temporary or permanent, that limits their ability to act. It does not require the individual to have any kind of diagnosis or specific evaluation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.6 percent of adults in Texashave some type of disability. FEMA provides accommodations at each step in the recovery process.
Newspapers, radio, television, social media, flyers, local officials and private sector partners help to spread important recovery information in multiple languages.
Applying for Assistance
During the application process, all eligible applicants for FEMA disaster assistance will have equal access to all FEMA programs and services.
When applying for assistance from FEMA, applicants should pay special attention to question number 24 about people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Answer “yes” to this question if the applicant has a disabiity, special needs, or another health or medical condtiion.
This is the best way to note any additional disability-related losses and/or needs such as medical support assistance, durable medical equipment repairs, or replacement of assistive technology that was lost or damaged because of the disaster. (Examples include wheelchair, scooter, walker, CPAP machine, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and screen reader.)
This question will also help to identify other services for which applicants may be eligible to receive reimbursement. Here is a link to assist with question 24: Answering Yes to the Disability Question When Registering for Assistance.
If you need a reasonable accommodation or assistance filling out your FEMA application, please call 833-283-7448 or TTY 800-462-7585. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should alert FEMA as to the specific number assigned to that service.
To apply for assistance, or to update information to include a request for specialized assistance, contact FEMA by:
The following accessible video explains the three ways you can register for FEMA assistance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZGpWI2RCNw&feature=youtu.be
When applying for assistance, have the following information readily available:
  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses, and
  • If insured, the insurance policy number, and the agent or company name
The following accessible video provides answers to questions you may have regarding registering for assistance:
Be Prepared
It is important to prepare before the next disaster strikes. Visit Ready.gov for ideas on making a plan.
Before the next storm, the hard of hearing, deaf, and persons with a sensory disability can review “Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs,” a FEMA video presented in English and sign language here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLLMDOScE4g.
For more information about last month’s winter storms in Texas, visit fema.gov/disaster/4586. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

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