FEMA sets up site to assist in getting assistance

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FEMA spokesperson Ken Higginbotham said that starting Wednesday, Sept. 13, the federal agency is collaborating with multiple local, state and federal agencies to offer what is essentially a “one-stop stop” for Harvey victims seeking assistance in recovery. From 7 a.m. through 7 p.m., seven days a week, the first FEMA/state Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for the Golden Triangle will set up camp at the Goodwill located at 2871 Stagg Drive in Beaumont.

“We are working to get the help to the people that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” Higginbotham said. “There are quite a few people from local, state and federal agencies,” who will be at the new DRC. There, Harvey victims can “get any bit of information they need that pertains to their particular case.”

“Everybody’s situation is different,” Higginbotham added, and agencies will be on-hand at the DRC to assist individuals and families with assistance tailored to their specific circumstances. With the assistance of DRC volunteers, he said victims, “can look up their registration number and find out exactly what help they need.”

Those who have a FEMA registration number will receive assistance in accordance with their prescribed disaster plan, and those who haven’t registered for FEMA yet can do so at the DRC. Some of the help offered at the DRC will be assistance in applying for loans with the Small Business Administration, registering with other post-disaster agencies offering recovery assistance, applying for housing and food stamps, etc.

“It’s kind of like one-stop shopping,” Higginbotham said. For now, the only DRC in Southeast Texas will be the Goodwill site on Stagg Drive, but other sites will be added in the near future. In Orange and Hardin counties, he said, “We’re working to get these centers opened as soon as possible.”

Those looking only for assistance in registering for FEMA can do so at Mobile Intake sites such as the one set up in Port Arthur’s St. Mary’s Hospital, 2001 9th Ave., Suite 301.