Help after Harvey: Where to find assistance after disaster

By Amy Davis
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HOUSTON - Flood victims displaced after Hurricane Harvey need help. Whether it is with clean-up, financial assistance, counseling or just legal guidance, we have compiled this list of agencies and resources that are waiting for your phone calls with volunteers ready to help.

Please share this list. And if you work for a group or agency providing help to Harvey victims, please contact adavis@click2houston.com to be added to this list.

United Way of Houston
Dial 211
A free helpline operated by United Way of Greater Houston - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in many languages. Trained HELPLINE specialists blend understanding and expertise to provide information and referrals drawn from a comprehensive database of social services. Basic needs, like food, utilities and health care, topped the list of requests last year, followed by rent assistance and help finding shelter.

State Bar of Texas Disaster Hotline
(800) 504-7030
The toll-free hotline - answered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese - is designed to connect low-income people affected by a disaster with legal aid providers in their area who can help with such issues as replacing lost documents, insurance questions, landlord-tenant problems, and consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process. Callers can leave a message any time. People who qualify for assistance will be matched with Texas lawyers who have volunteered to provide free, limited legal help.

Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Protection
(800) 252-3439
ConsumerProtection@tdi.texas.gov
Website: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/storms/helpafterharvey.html
The Texas Department of Insurance helps consumers resolve complaints against insurance companies, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), insurance agents, and adjusters. Each year, we help thousands of Texans get millions of dollars in additional claim payments and refunds.

Texas Consumer Complaint Center
Website: www.texasccc.com
Having legal issues as a result of the flood? University of Houston Center for Consumer Law professors and attorneys can answer your questions about your rights and recourse on any consumer-related issues. Submit your complaint online (include your phone number) and someone will call you back. Or call 713-743-2168. UH is closed through Labor Day, so if you call before then, it may take a couple of days for someone to call you back.

FEMA
Find an open shelter near you by texting SHELTER and your zip code to 4FEMA (43362). You can also use the FEMA mobile app. FEMA is also providing resources for people with disabilities, access and functional needs on its website.

Apply for financial assistance online or by phone.
Website: www.disasterassistance.gov
(800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585 (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time), 7 days a week. 
Survivors have 60-days from the date of a declaration for Individual Assistance to apply for assistance.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/disaster-unemployment-assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides unemployment benefits for individuals who lost their jobs or self-employment or who are no longer working as a direct result of a major disaster for which a disaster assistance period is declared, and who applied but are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. See the Eligibility section for details.

Check this Facebook page for an available place to stay.

Texas Association of Business Hotline
512-637-7714
Website: http://www.txbiz.org/2017/08/25/hurricane-harvey/
Providing resources to business owners affected by the storm. This is available to all businesses, not just TAB members.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
Website: https://www.cgmahq.org/
CGMA is providing support to Harvey victims who are members of the Coast Guard, Army and Navy Marine Corps.

Crisis Cleanup
(800) 451-1954
Call the Crisis Cleanup hotline anytime before Sept. 15 at 1-800-451-1954 to get a case number and be placed on a list distributed to civic and community leaders, as well as volunteer relief agencies.

Was your vehicle flooded & towed? Here's how to find it:
City of Houston
Website: www.findmytowedcar.com
Houston Tow Line: 713-308-8580
Harris County Tow Line: 713-755-6042
Galveston County Sheriff (Galveston, Bolivar, La Marque, Texas City, Hitchcock, Santa Fe): 409-766-2322
Galveston County Sheriff (League City, Dickinson, Bacliff, San Leon, Kemah, Friendswood, Algoa): 281-534-3515
Montgomery County Tow Line: 936-760-5871
Waller County Sheriff: 979-826-8282
Brazoria County Sheriff: 979-864-2338
Liberty County Sheriff: 912-876-2131
Fort Bend County Sheriff: 281-341-4665

Disaster Distress Helpline
(800) 985-5990
or text TalkWithUS to 66746
Call if you’re experiencing emotional distress and need to talk to a crisis counselor.

Reliable Online Wellness Experience
Website: www.rowedocs.com
ROWE Doctors are available online to give FREE medical advice to anyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey. If you can not get to a medical center and need urgent medical advice, request an online appointment and they will respond to your needs.

Portlight Strategies Hotline for people with disabilities
(800) 626-4959
Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Hurricane Harvey Disability Hotline has received hundreds of urgent requests for assistance for people with disabilities and older adults. Working to help get people to safety, provide for any immediate needs they may have for disability related accommodations, durable medical equipment and other assistive technology, responding to evacuation and sheltering issues and problem-solving for a variety of immediate disability accessibility issues.

Resources for teachers who need classroom materials and supplies.

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