7 On Your Side:Deadline Approaching For FEMA Assistance - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

8/28/06-Tyler

7 On Your Side:Deadline Approaching For FEMA Assistance

Katrina evacuee Jeanette Williams takes care of her six grandchildren in a small Tyler home. Her responsibilities don't end there.

"I have rent, I have light, gas, water, my telephone bill," says Jeanette. 

After this week, Jeanette won't be able to rely on FEMA to pay the rent when those benefits end on Thursday, August 31st. It just adds to the emotional strain Katrina has left in its aftermath. 

"I cry, I cry for everything now," says Jeanette. 

"It is an emergency sheltering program. It is designed to be just a few days, few weeks. Here it is a year and it's time to end the emergency sheltering program," says Don Jacks with FEMA's Austin office.

Around 18,000 families in Texas benefited from the emergency sheltering program. FEMA says there is a second one, called the "Individual Assistance Program," which has more extensive requirements. 

"If any of these families could prove to FEMA through proof of head of household, proof of damage and proof of occupancy where they say their home is damaged, we could move them into this longer term program," explains Jacks. 

Jeanette says she has applied for more assistance and has since received a call from FEMA that her application is under review. Katrina has taught her to have a plan B if her application is denied. 

"I'll just go ahead and get me a job," says Jeanette.

If someone qualifies for FEMA's "Individual Assistance Program" benefits extend through February 2007.

For more information call FEMA directly at 1-800-621-3362.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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