Commission To Rebuild Texas After Hurricane Harvey Update: Issue 19

March 16, 2018 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

I believe Texas is a model…it truly is where we need to go — federally supported, state-managed and locally executed” disaster response and recovery, testified FEMA Administrator Brock Long at the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Hearing this week. “Governor Abbott is one of the most bold governors, who has truly owned ever bit of the disaster response and recovery. That’s the way it should work.”

Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas

  • Governor Abbott joined volunteers from the Rebuild Texas Fund, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, 4B Disaster Response Network and Eight Days of Hope at a home in Dickinson undergoing major repairs following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. “These volunteers are doing more than helping to rebuild houses. They are re-instilling hope, and it's hope that allows these families to know that they will be able to continue on.”
  • Governor Abbott visited Kingwood, where he took an aerial tour to survey damage along the San Jacinto River, and met with community leaders and elected officials to discuss Hurricane Harvey recovery and flood prevention efforts. During the meeting, the Governor announced new actions Texas will be taking to help prevent future flooding in communities like Kingwood.
  • Governor Abbott met with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Linda McMahon in Austin to discuss the important role small businesses play in Texas. Late applications for SBA disaster loans for physical losses from Hurricane Harvey are being accepted if substantial causes prevented an application from being submitted within the filing deadline. And the deadline to apply for SBA disaster loans for economic injury from Hurricane Harvey is May 25, 2018. Learn more
  • Reed Clay, chief operating officer for the Office of the Governor, testified before the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee on March 15 on lessons learned by the State of Texas in preparing for, responding to and the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey. Watch video of the hearing.

Individual Assistance

  • Current individual assistance numbers are now posted on
  • Per FEMA, survivors in need of disaster case management assistance should call 211. Survivors who have open cases with IDCM will continue to receive assistance from case managers after March 13.
  • FEMA granted Governor Abbott’s request to extend the deadline for Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) for some victims of Hurricane Harvey to April 23, 2018, with an eligibility review on April 2, 2018. Disaster victims with questions regarding their TSA program eligibility or status may contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for assistance.
  • FEMA’s Disaster Distress Helpline offers trained professionals who can help callers cope with anxiety or stress, and guide them to available resources. This toll-free, multilingual and confidential crisis support service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 800-985-5990, 800-846-8517 (TTY) or text TalkWithUs (Spanish-speakers text: Hablanos) to 66746.


  • Current housing numbers are now posted on
  • is the housing information resource for individuals and communities.
  • Follow for pictures of move-in days and updates on housing recovery.
  • The Texas Department of Insurance’s Help After Harvey page explains consumer options to challenge an insurer’s estimate of damages or a claims denial. TDI can help with insurance questions and complaints through the Consumer Help Line at 800-252-3439, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon. to Fri.
  • Flood insurance must be maintained to qualify for federal assistance in the future. NFIP policyholders with questions may call 800-621-3362, Mon. to Sat., 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, visit
  • The Federal Housing Administration offers mortgage relief options to Hurricane Harvey survivors in Texas at 800-CALL-FHA.

Texans Helping Texans

Student volunteers spent their spring breaks working on Hurricane Harvey-damaged homes: “Instead of carrying ice chests to the beach, they carried drywall to trash piles. Instead of sliding on their bathing suits, they opted for protective face masks. About 580 middle and high school students redefined the typical spring break by volunteering to fix up homes across Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey.” Read more.