Two weeks after the explosion in West, Texas, the initial response phase is beginning its inevitable journey toward the recovery phase. Many families and individuals are still reeling from the shock of the unexpected tragedy, the physical and emotional anguish, and the pain of recovery that lies ahead. Your prayers and financial contributions are still very much needed and welcome.
Many of these distraught survivors are elderly who lived at the assisted living home which was destroyed, families who lost loved ones, and a good number of people who were just barely making ends meet to begin with who are now in crisis.
Our response efforts so far include assistance to 190 families and 500 individuals. We were able to help distribute $13,000 in emergency funds. Other organizations referred clients to us, including the Red Cross and Southern Baptists who escorted clients back to us exclusively to assist with answering questions, providing an ear to listen, and a shoulder to lean on or even cry on.
Margie and Sarah have left West and are grateful for the opportunity to represent LSSDR. We continue to work on a hotel voucher program to meet immediate housing needs for survivors and we are assessing our role in the long-term recovery for the survivors in West, including a case management strategy and process to work with survivors.
FEMA To Allow Individual Assistance Grants
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the emergency disaster declaration for the State of Texas, declared on April 19, has been expanded to allow individuals and households affected by the explosion in McLennan County, access to Individual Assistance grants.
This action makes housing and other assistance available to eligible individuals in McLennan County. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs; medical, dental, and funeral expenses; and personal property, transportation and other forms of assistance to help individuals recover from the effects of the disaster.
Individuals who sustained losses as a result of the explosion in McLennan County can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).