FEMA sets up shop in Smith County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

FEMA sets up shop in Smith County

By Jamey Boyum

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Over a thousand homes have been destroyed in Texas wildfires, many right here in East Texas. If you lost your home or property the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA is in the area to help.

And, you may be able to get government aid even if you are insured.

FEMA is here to stay--at least until everyone who lost property in East Texas has been acknowledged. If a fire affected your life as it did some in the area, you may want to talk face to face with someone who can walk you through the registration process. FEMA may also be able to help with more immediate needs.

River Burton with FEMA says, "They've lost their homes, they cannot get back to their homes, they may need hotel motel assistance, rental assistance possibly. They have a place they can come to and talk to someone one on one."

FEMA and the Small Business Association are at the Smith County Emergency Operations Center now.

"This is a temporary facility. It's not here for weeks and months on end so people who have been impacted by fires need to come in and take advantage of this great resource," she said.

And it doesn't matter what county you're in. You can get help from the group when they get close to you. Later this week they'll be in Gilmer.  FEMA folks say if you are insured, you need to file a claim and get a settlement before you can get additional assistance. Most insurance companies don't cover things like water wells and septic systems.

"If we have residents coming into the facility and taking advantage of the facility, then we will be here," River said.

And, they'll come back here if the demand is there.

FEMA will be at the Smith County Emergency Operations Center tomorrow from 9am to 6pm, and Thursday they'll be in Gilmer from 1 to 6, and Friday and Saturday from 9am to 6 pm.

You can call 1-800-621-3362 to find out where FEMA is going to be next week.

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