The February 2021 winter weather may have come with some unexpected surprises including broken or cracked pipes, leaks, and other damaged property. Make taking care of your home or place of business as simple as possible by utilizing the various resources and tips below.
Apply for Assistance
Before you apply for assistance, below are the steps you need to take to start your recovery process:
Step One: Take photos of your damaged home or business and belongings.
Step Two: Make a list of damaged/lost items.
Step Three: Save yourself time. If you have insurance, you must file a claim with your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, continue to Step Four.
Step Four: Now that you're ready to apply now for disaster assistance visit https://www.fema.gov/assistance/individual/program#apply to start your application process.
Comal and Guadalupe Counties have been included in the 77 Texas counties designated for individual assistance from FEMA. If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must also file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance.
The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.
If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
When you apply 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
- If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name
If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.
Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Reporting Disaster Scams
Unfortunately, there are individuals who will attempt to take advantage of others during a vulnerable time. The Texas Attorney General's Office stands ready to prosecute those who violate the law and seek to bring harm to Texans.
Details on identifying disaster scams, such as fake home repair contractors and price gouging on essential good and services are available online at the Texas Attorney General's Office.
Texans can report suspicious activity to the Texas Attorney Genera's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 621-0508 or online.
Expedited Permit & Inspections for Damage Repairs
Broken and leaking pipes have caused damage at homes and businesses due to the recent winter weather. To minimize the financial impact of repairs, the City of New Braunfels is taking a number of steps to make the process of repairing homes and businesses easier.
- Plumbing permit fees will be waived for any project resulting from winter storm damage. Fees for other permits for work associated with water or weather damage will also be waived for homes and businesses. Applicants are asked to identify the project as Severe Weather-Related Repair on the application or other submittal document when they submit for the permit.
- The City’s Development Services Division will prioritize and expedite review of plumbing permits, inspections, and plumbing contractor registrations.
For additional information regarding waivers for fees or expedited permitting and inspections, please contact the City's Planning and Development Services department at 830-221-4050 or log on to their website for access to residential and commercial permit applications.
Local Property Tax Relief
You may be eligible for local property tax relief under Texas Property Tax Code Section 11.35. The local property tax relief application must be filed with the local appraisal district servicing the county.
For additional information, please contact the Comal County Appraisal District at (830) 625-8597.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans
The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.