Hurricane Harvey Relief Information
For up to date information on Disaster Assistance which includes FEMA, Shelters, Housing, Insurance, Legal, Health and Safety, and Home Repair, please visit Harris County Recovery Network: www.harrisrecovery.org
Steps if you are flooded
1. Call your insurance company and File a claim.
You will need:
- The name of your insurance company
- Your policy number
- A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
- An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim.
Make sure to ask for the adjuster’s contact information so you can reach them directly if you haven’t heard from them.
Separate damaged property from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.
Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage and standing floodwater levels.
Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible. Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home, but safely out of the street.
If you begin repairs or remediation prior to adjuster coming out, get an OK in writing from the insurance company and keep all receipts.
Mark the water line on the exterior of your home with a marker and take a photo.
Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming, including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. A Proof of Loss can be many things, but must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You’ll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.
You’ll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss. Since this is a major catastrophic flood, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.
Flooded cars are resolved through your auto insurance.
FEMA does NOT cover additional living expense.
****You may be seeing misinformation on social media and in news articles about a new law effective Sept. 1, 2017 related to homeowner’s insurance. You don’t have to rush and file before 9/1/2017.
In an effort to clarify what this new law (HB 1774) actually does, the Texas Association of REALTORS® has drafted this statement (PDF), which is also posted here on the TAR blog.
2. Register with FEMA:
To register call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
Or go online to www.disasterassistance.gov.
You will be asked for the following: Your Social Security Number, Insurance Information, A Contact Number & Direct Deposit Information for Electronic Funds.
Be sure to have a pen in hand to record important information, such as the FEMA number you will be provided.
3. Begin scheduling contractors and remediation companies to get bids on the repairs.
DO NOT begin any work without consulting your insurance company. Make sure that everything to your insurance company is in writing. It will be very important to communicate with all parties the plan of action prior to doing anything.
DO NOT begin any work without confirming that the contractor is bonded and insured. There will be numerous contractors that come into town to storm chase, and we want to ensure that you use reputable companies that you know and trust.
DO NOT begin any work without confirming that the contractor has received the proper permit from the city and/or neighborhood, if you are in an HOA and they require a permit.
Below is a list of remediation companies to begin your search. These are NOT recommendations, just some ideas to get you started.
You can also look at Yelp.com, Angie’s List, or HomeAdvisor.com
Blackmon Mooring – (800) 558-1597 blackmonmooring.com
Boone’s Restoration – (888) 769-6268 boonesrestoration.com
Cotton Restoration – (713) 849-9300 cottonholdings.com
DKI Frontier services – Gregg Autrey – 713-382-4221 www.frontierservicegrp-houston.com
Fitz Roofing/Construction Contractors – Chase Hardeman – 832-692-5840 www.fitzroofing.com
Keystone Restoration – Paul Gagnon – 512-217-0654 c, 512-333-2217 o email@example.com keystone-restoration.com/
ServiceMaster Restoration By 24-7 Services – Lucindia McIntosh – 214.986.3850 firstname.lastname@example.org
We would also recommend going ahead and ordering a POD to begin moving furniture/items into as you go. If you are going to start removing things from the house, it will be easier to put them in there for the time being, and they may book out quickly. pods.com/locations/houston
4. Apply for the Texas REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund
TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Disaster Relief
- This fund is available to both REALTORS® and the General Public and is in place to help people who have suffered losses due to natural disasters in Texas.
- Those who qualify are eligible for up to $1,000 assistance.
- Currently, the fund is accepting applications from individuals who (i) have suffered damage to their property or (ii) have been displaced (either temporarily or permanently), as a result of the severe weather and flooding event which began August 25, 2017.
- Application deadline is September 25, 2017.
- Links to apply for funding are:
- Texas REALTOR® online application link – apps.texasrealestate.com/public/disasterRelief/reliefApplications.cfm
- You will need to describe the damage to your property, including any financial loss, as a result of the natural disaster. You must provide proof to support your answers (photos of damaged property, etc.). You will also need to provide supporting documentation to demonstrate that you own or live in the property, like a driver’s license, a utility bill, a mortgage statement, or a copy of your lease.
If you are one of the lucky ones, see what you can do to help Houston rebuild.
– Volunteer at a shelter
– Gather items that shelters need
– Check in with everyone you know to make sure they are safe
– Check with your neighborhood to see what needs to be done
Money is going to be the most important thing to help Houstonians get back on their feet and help rebuild our city. Below are some links to places where you can donate:
- American Red Cross: redcross.org
- Greater Houston Community Foundation: ghcf.org
- Harvey Relief Hub: harveyreliefhub.com
- Houston Food Bank: houstonfoodbank.org
- Houston PetSet: www.houstonpetset.org/hurricane-harvey-relief-fund
- Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: www.houstonspca.org
- Texas REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund: apps.texasrealestate.com/public/disasterRelief/donate.cfm
- United Way of Greater Houston: unitedwayhouston.org
Temporary housing availability on HAR.COM
HAR.com has built a website that allows REALTORS®, individual property owners, landlords and property managers to post properties they are offering for temporary housing due to the immediate need of so many.
If you have a property that you can provide for temporary housing (for free or reduced rent, if you are able), please visit: https://www.har.com/temporaryhousing/postyourhousing
If you are in need of housing, you may search by going to: https://www.har.com/temporaryhousing
During this trying time, know that HAR.com and our 73,000 REALTORS® across the state of Texas are here to help. If there’s one thing I know about the people of Texas, it’s that we are resilient and pull together in times of need.
With best wishes for a quick recovery,