Texas winter storm recovery: where and how to find help

By Megan Wehring
KYLE — Across the city of Kyle and state of Texas, residents are still dealing with issues from the unprecedented winter storm last week.
Residents and local businesses are encouraged to use the following resources.

FEMA Disaster Assistance 

From busted water pipes to roof repairs, the city of Kyle is asking residents and businesses to report damages to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as soon as possible.

Hays County is among the 77 counties across the state currently eligible for Individual Assistance from FEMA. A map of all eligible counties is available.  Reporting damages to FEMA ensures residents, business owners and the city will receive federal resources and services to aid in recovery efforts.

Residents may apply for disaster assistance online by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

Once on the site, select the “Apply Online” tab to begin a new application. During the application process, remember to select “snow/ice” as the cause of the damage reported as a result of the recent winter weather event. Residents applying for both home and business disaster assistance are only required to complete one registration form.

To complete the application, have the following information prepared:

  • Social Security number of applicant OR Social Security number of household minor child
  • Annual household income
  • Contact information, including phone number and addresses
  • Insurance information, including company name and policy coverage

 

An email address is required to review registration status online. Residents applying without an email address will be required to contact FEMA for status updates.

For more information or to apply for assistance without using a computer, call the FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline at 1-800-621-3362. TTY users can call 1-800-462-7585.

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance 

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Texas businesses and residents through the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you are a Hays County business impacted by the severe winter storms, you may be eligible for a low-interest disaster loan. For more info and how to apply, visit https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USSBA/bulletins/2c2d0c4.

Texas Department of Emergency Management – Self Reporting Survey 

The Texas Department of Emergency Management is conducting a self-reporting survey with the objective to identify damages across Texas and to help emergency management officials across the state gain an understanding of damages that have occurred during the recent winter weather. Go to https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/eb1ab4928205490182896d86783447d3 to take the survey now.

Price Gouging  

Price gouging is illegal and the Office of the Attorney General has the authority to prosecute any business that engages in price gouging after a disaster has been declared by the governor or president. Go to the Texas Attorney General Office’s website for more information on price gouging and how to file a consumer complaint.

Mass Food Distribution Event in March

 

The Central Texas Food Bank is partnering with the City of Kyle and Texas Disposal Systems to host a mass food distribution on Saturday, March 13 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the ACC Hays Campus (1200 Kohlers Crossing).

Central Texas residents facing food insecurity can drive to the event to receive a box of assorted produce, milk and a protein box. Actual contents may vary depending on availability. No registration is required.

In response to the public health crisis, Central Texas Food Bank distributions have been converted to a drive-thru model where volunteers place food into each vehicle’s trunk. The food bank is asking that each household only send one person to the event and that all attendees come in vehicles to adhere to social distancing requirements. There will not be a walk-up distribution.

For information about other food distribution sites, visit the Central Texas Food Bank website.

Trash Service 

Curbside collection for Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) customers will resume on the next regularly scheduled service day. TDS will also accept an additional two bags per residence as truck capacity allows over the next two weeks.

Residents are eligible for two bulky pick-ups per year. Bulky pick-ups can be up to three cubic yards and brush must be bundled. To schedule, call 512-329-1758 or 800-375-8375. Residents are also eligible for one free monthly drop-off to the landfill per residential household, good up to five cubic yards. For rates, rules and items that are accepted, visit the TDS website.

The TDS landfill is located at 3016 FM 1327, Creedmoor, Texas, and is open to the public from 7 am to 7 p.m. (or sunset, whichever occurs first) Monday through Saturday. Customers need to bring recent utility bill and a photo ID with a matching home address.

Download the Waste Wizard app for calendar schedules, reminders, and service alerts.

Other resources 

Kyle residents can visit the resources section at www.cityofkyle.com/covid for additional resources.

All Kyle winter storm updates and resources are available at CityofKyle.com/winter. The city of Kyle’s Post Incident Summary report is also available at https://www.cityofkyle.com/communications/winter-storm-2021-post-incident-summary-report-city-kyle. It has information about total service calls answered, emergency information disseminated as well as a timeline of events.

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About Author

Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring is nearing one year at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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