The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers two different types of assistance following natural disasters, like the inclement weather the Texoma area sustained in May and June. It is important for residents to know the difference between these two types of assistance, said FEMA Public Information Officer Nate Custer.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers two different types of assistance following natural disasters, like the inclement weather the Texoma area sustained in May and June. It is important for residents to know the difference between these two types of assistance, said FEMA Public Information Officer Nate Custer.


The local center designed for people to apply for help has extended its days of service in Sherman through Wednesday. Anyone from any county that has been designated as a disaster can apply for help at the center at 405 W. Washington in Sherman. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Wednesday.


The two types of assistance offered after natural disasters are individual assistance and public assistance.


Individual Assistance is provided to individuals and families who have sustained losses due to disasters, Custer said. This could apply to:


• Texas homeowners, renters and business owners in designated counties who sustained damage to their homes, vehicles, personal property, businesses or inventory as a result of the May 4 through June 21 severe storms and floods may apply for disaster assistance;


• Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs, uninsured and under-insured personal property losses, and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, along with other serious disaster-elated expenses;


• Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, medical waiver programs, welfare assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance;


• As a FEMA partner, the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. SBA disaster loans are the primary source of federal long-term disaster recovery funds for disaster damages not fully covered by insurance or other compensation. They do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.


Public Assistance, Custer said, can fund the repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of a public facility or infrastructure damaged or destroyed by a disaster.


• FEMA will provide a reimbursement grant of 75 percent of eligible costs, with the state and local governments sharing the remaining 25 percent of costs. Eligible entities include state governments, local governments and any other political subdivision of the state, Native American tribes and Alaskan Native Villages. Certain private nonprofit organizations, such as educational, utility, irrigation, emergency, medical, rehabilitation, and temporary or permanent custodial care facilities also may receive assistance;


• Although funds are awarded to government entities and nonprofits, the Public Assistance program is intended to benefit everyone — neighborhoods, cities, counties and states. Public Assistance dollars help clean up communities affected by disaster-related debris, repair the roads and bridges people use every day getting to work and school, put utilities and water systems back in order, repair hospitals and emergency services, rebuild schools and universities, and restore playground equipment in public parks.