HOUSTON — Texas is a disaster area and help is headed in, but more help could soon be available thanks to a major disaster declaration. So how does that work?
Let’s connect the dots.
Emergency Declaration Major Disaster
The president can basically make two different declarations in a catastrophe: an emergency declaration and a major disaster declaration. Both authorize the president to provide federal assistance when a tragedy happens, but the type of emergency that sparks the declaration and the assistance given afterwards are different. One thing that is the same, they both usually happen after a governor asks the feds for help.
Help for government or people
In an emergency declaration, the federal government helps out state and local governments. In a disaster declaration, the feds help the state and local governments, plus the actual people on the ground suffering through the disaster.
Individual assistance repairs and loans
So what kind of help can victims get after a major disaster declaration? It depends on what the governor asks for, but it can include everything from crisis counseling, legal assistance and emergency repairs.
When it comes to fixing damage in homes, the small business administration can provide loans, and for everyone who doesn’t qualify, the individual and households program can jump in giving money for repairs and temporary housing.
But a word of warning, while all this help is great, you can bet it comes with a lot of red tape.