The Houston Center for Independent Living’s “After Harvey” Information and Assistance for People with Disabilities.
If you a person with a disability and need assistance due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, please call the Center @ 713.974.4621 Voice/TTY; Video Relay Interpreting (VRI): 713.491.2381
Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHS) Out-of-Network Provider Update
Q. Can members who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey and are enrolled with a MCO see an out of network provider?
A. Managed Care Organizations (MCO) must allow members to see an out of network provider for non-emergency services. This direction pertains specifically to providers who deliver Medicaid or CHIP-covered services to members with a permanent residence in a FEMA-declared disaster county from Aug. 25, 2017, until the emergency declaration has been rescinded. The direction applies to all Medicaid or CHIP-covered services, including nursing facility add-on services.
MCOs shall not require the member’s current provider to request authorization for the out of network provider.
As a reminder, MCOs are already required to allow emergency services be provided out of network.
THHS also have two new websites to help our providers and other stakeholders get services to those in need during this emergency situation:
For the public:
Below is the link to the recording of a FEMA Assistance Disaster Relief Recovery event in Houston on Saturday, 09/09/17, in Houston, provided by the Resource Specialists contracted by the THHS/Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, along with Houston Center for Independent Living and Houston's Mayor's Committee for PWD, with guests from FEMA. The event was provided for hurricane survivors who are Deaf or hard of hearing, but the information would apply to all.
An enormous thanks to everyone involved in these recovery efforts and so many others.
Below you will find recovery resources related to the City of Houston, home clean up, the Red Cross, and FEMA.
The City of Houston has established the website www.houstonrecovers.org that houses all our information in an easy to navigate format.
It has three sections: “I need help”, “I want to help”, “I want to donate” By clicking on one of those headings, you will find updated info on what activities are going on locally, with updates from all 23 City of Houston Departments. This also includes an update from FEMA.
Crisis Clean Up
People needing support as they clean their homes and property damaged by Hurricane Harvey can sign up for help from the Cleanup Assistance Hotline at 1-844-965-1386.
The hotline will share the information of those requiring assistance with volunteer relief agencies and civic and community leaders. The hotline will give priority to vulnerable people such as people with disabilities and seniors. The hotline closes Sept. 15 and will only sign up people who live in Texas. For more information about the hotline, visit www.crisiscleanup.org
The American Red Cross will be providing financial assistance to Texas households that were severely impacted by Harvey and need help taking care of emergency needs. Right now, we are in the initial few hours of this effort and are focusing on helping people in emergency shelters. Register for assistance http://www.RedCross.org/hhia Registration will be open for 30 days.
The Red Cross is experiencing extremely high demand right now. If you have problems registering for assistance, please try again tomorrow.
In the meantime, please note that assistance will be available for those significantly affected by Hurricane Harvey which includes:
- Primary residence was severely impacted by Harvey.
- Household is in need of emergency assistance.
- Household was displaced by the impact of Harvey
- Verifiable pre-disaster primary address in one of these 39 Texas counties:
Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton.
The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency, and people do not need to be American citizens to receive assistance.
FEMA has created a comprehensive web page for Harvey survivors. Go here for information on how to apply for assistance, tips on clean up and more. https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4332
FEMA opened three Disaster Recovery Centers. Disaster recovery centers offer in- person support to individuals and businesses in 39 counties included in the Texas federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent floods. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the State and other agencies will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application. The new centers are at the following locations:
Greenspoint Mall (Harris County)
263 Greenspoint Mall
Houston TX 77060
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Katy Mills Mall (Fort Bend County)
5000 Katy Mills Circle
Katy TX 77494
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Baytown Community Center (Harris County)
2407 Market Street
Baytown TX 77520
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible to people with disabilities. Centers have assistive technology equipment allowing disaster survivors to use amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss, and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available and in- person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.
If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Eligible residents may register for assistance the following ways:
- Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
- Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
- Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app
The following information is helpful when registering:
- Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).
- Current mailing address.
- Current telephone 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 a bank account).
- A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.
Disaster survivors can visit any of the centers for assistance. Locations of other recovery centers are online at www.fema.gov/DRC
Most local bus routes are also running. METRO is working to resume operation on a handful of routes still being evaluated. Those routes not in service are listed below:
- 46 Gessner
- 51 Hardy-Kelly
- 67 Dairy Ashford
- 75 Eldridge
- 153 Harwin Express
- 161 Wilcrest Express
- 162 Memorial Express
METRO will open most HOV/HOT Lanes tomorrow. The one exception will be I-45 North, where crews are still assessing the safety of that route. All buses and other vehicles which normally travel this corridor will be detoured.
All Park & Ride facilities will also be operational tomorrow. That includes METRO's newest commuter service, the El Dorado Park & Ride, located at 203 W. El Dorado Blvd., Friendswood, Texas 77546.
FEMA ASSISTANCE GUIDANCE (SEE UPDATE TO THIS SECTION BELOW)
At this point in our storm response and recovery, there are many people who might qualify for FEMA assistance. This could be because the person was displaced from their home, their home was damaged or for other disaster-related reasons (small business damage, etc.) You do not need to be a homeowner to qualify for FEMA Assistance. Survivors have 60-days from the date of a declaration for Individual Assistance to apply for assistance.
Visit DisasterAssistance.gov to apply for assistance online. If you experience difficulty applying online, you may also call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585 to apply during standard hours of operation (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time), 7 days a week. You can also check your application status at DisasterAssistance.gov. Please note that if you are eligible for an Individual Assistance grant you are not required to pay back the grant to FEMA. There is no income threshold for Individual Assistance grants, but you may be referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low interest disaster loan to assist in your recovery. These low interest disaster loans for homeowners and businesses from the SBA must be repaid.
Resources for People with Access & Functional Needs: https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey-resources-people-disabilities-access-functional-needs
- Spanish: https://www.fema.gov/es/disaster/4332
- Arabic: https://www.fema.gov/ar/disaster/4332
- Urdu: https://www.fema.gov/ur/disaster/4332
- Vietnamese: https://www.fema.gov/vi/disaster/4332
- Korean: https://www.fema.gov/ko/disaster/4332
- Chinese: https://www.fema.gov/zh-hans/disaster/4332
- Tagalog: https://www.fema.gov/tl/disaster/4332
- FEMA Accessible Hurricane Harvey Search and Rescue: https://youtu.be/2OqyZQ90VWg
- FEMA Accessible FEMA Registration Process – Part One: https://youtu.be/UD86CLdhd-4
- FEMA Accessible FEMA Registration Process – Part Two: https://youtu.be/lIPRL0A2D14
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AND DONATIONS
First responders are working on 1000s of rescues and calls continue to come in. Harris County Sheriff’s Office along has completed more than 2200 rescue operations. We are also seeing many citizen rescue attempts. If you receive calls offering volunteer help, please direct them to:
- General Volunteers
- American Red Cross, (866) 526-8300, http://www.redcross.org/
- Volunteer Houston, (281) 656-1533, http://volunteerhouston.org
- Texas Gulf Coast VOAD, http://txgulfcoastvoad.org/ (We are no longer asking for boats and high water vehicles)
Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Update to the Earlier Guidance on Applying for FEMA Assistance.
Registering online, at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance since the event will last several days and the full scope of damages may not be immediately evident.
If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call 1-800-621-3362. Install the FEMA App, available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices
When you register for disaster assistance either online or by phone, you will need the following to complete your application:
- Social Security number
- Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
- Current mailing address
- Current telephone number
- Insurance information
- Total household annual income
- Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
- A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses
** If you are a person with a disability, there are two specific questions you must respond "yes" to in order to provide disability related details get FEMA assistance that will fit your needs. See the information below for the specific text of the questions.
Disaster Related Losses:
Did you, your co-applicant, or any dependents have help or support doing things like walking, seeing, hearing, or taking care of yourself before the disaster and have you lost that help or support because of the disaster?
Disaster Related Expenses:
Have you incurred uninsured or under-insured expenses as a direct result of the disaster; do you have MEDICAL expenses as a result of the disaster; do you have DENTAL expenses as a result of the disaster; do you have FUNERAL expenses as a result of the disaster. Be as descriptive as possible in your responses.
Pharmacies Helping Harvey Survivors
A List and Map of All Open Pharmacies in affected regions: https://www.healthcareready.org/rxopen
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas https://www.bcbstx.com/company-info/alerts-announcements/natural-disaster
Harris County Public Library Open to Assist With Relief Services
In an effort to assist residents affected by the recent disaster in our area, certain Harris County Public Library branches will be open for emergency relief purposes.
Below is a list of library branches and the openings dates and hours.
Hours: (10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
- Friday, September 1st
- Saturday, September 2nd
- Tuesday, September 5th - Saturday, September 9th
List of branches:
- Administration Branch
- Aldine Branch Library
- Atascocita Branch Library
- Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library
- Crosby - Edith Fae Cook Cole Branch Library
- Evelyn Meador Branch Library
- Fairbanks Branch Library
- Galena Park Branch Library
- High Meadows Branch Library
- Jacinto City Branch Library
- Katy Branch Library
- La Porte Branch Library
- Maud Smith Marks Branch Library
- North Channel Branch Library
- Northwest Branch Library
- Octavia Fields Branch Library
- Parker Williams Branch Library
- South Houston Branch Library
- Spring Branch Memorial Branch Library
- West University Branch Library
*Available services and allotted time frames for specific services (i.e. internet use) will be posted at each facility. Please see branch staff for questions.
FEMA CRITICAL NEEDS ASSISTANCE --- FACT SHEET
FEMA may provide financial assistance to individuals and households who, as a result of the disaster, have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are life-saving and life-sustaining items including, but not limited to: water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items, and fuel for transportation.
Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) is awarded under the Other Needs Assistance provision of the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and is subject to a state cost share. It is a one-time $500 payment per household. The State must request that FEMA authorize CNA in a disaster for specific geographic areas that are expected to be inaccessible for an extended period of time (i.e., seven days or longer). The eligibility period for CNA corresponds to the standard registration period for IHP, which is 60 days from the date of the Presidential disaster declaration.
Individuals and households may be eligible for CNA if all of the following have been met:
- A registration is completed with FEMA;
- The applicant passes identity verification;
- At registration, the applicant asserts that they have critical needs and requests financial assistance for those needs and expenses;
- Their pre-disaster primary residence ### is located in a county that is designated for CNA; and
- The applicant is displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster.
“FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.”