The Coastal Bend is progressively making a comeback! Some businesses have re-opened and others are on their way to being back in action. There is still work to be done to restore our beloved communities. Several organizations continue to be present and assist our local entities and citizens.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened three Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Nueces County. These centers were established to help those who are unable to register for disaster assistance themselves or need clarification of information regarding registration. Besides FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and State and other agencies have representatives available to answer any questions or concerns. The first is located at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds. The address is 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd Robstown, Texas 78380. Their hours of operation are Monday-Sunday from 9:00am to 7:00pm. FEMA has recently opened another DRC at the La Palmera Mall Parking Lot at 5488 South Padre Island Drive (SPID) Corpus Christi, Texas 78411. The third DRC is in the Port Aransas Community Center at 408 North Alister St. Port Aransas, Texas 78373.

When visiting these facilities, certain information is necessary for registration. This information includes: the address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address); current mailing address; current telephone number; social security number; insurance information; total household annual income; routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account if you quality); and a description of disaster-caused damage and losses. For more information, please visit FEMA.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) works with FEMA to help Texans have access to the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program. For those who qualify, the ONA program can help pay for disaster related costs like: personal properly, transportation, moving and storage, medical and dental needs, childcare, etc. You can contact the Texas HHSC ONA by calling 1-800-582-5233 or visit Texas HHSC ONA.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has compiled a list of several trustworthy entities to donate your time, resources, and/or money. The BBB strongly advises those applying for assistance or donating to help survivors to check the credentials of the business(es), as well. Visit the BBB Scam Tracker. When choosing where to donate resources, especially online, the BBB created a checklist to help in your decision. These helpful tips can be found by visiting BBB Checklist.

​If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).

 – State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672