FEMA and local officials host town hall in Aransas Pass

Congressman Blake Farenthold along with members of FEMA took part in a town hall meeting Tuesday in Aransas Pass.

On Tuesday, top officials with FEMA, The Small Business Association and local officials held a town hall in Aransas Pass.

Harvey survivors were invited to bring all questions about applying for federal assistance. 

Out of previous town halls in the area, Tuesday's had the most attendance.

"I think it shows a lot of people are working through this on their own but we want to make sure those people who don't feel like they are getting treated fairly or the additional help have those resources available," Farenthold said. 

More than $42 million was approved for survivors in six counties but quite a few in the crowd say they were previously denied help from FEMA.

"Even though the letter might say no that doesn't necessarily mean the end of the road," Gerard Stolar, FEMA Coastal Bend Branch Director, said. "It means perhaps we are missing a very important piece of personal information that would then make them eligible for federal assistance."

Others didn't apply because they didn't know if they would receive aid. 

"We didn't think that we would qualify," one resident said. "But coming today to this town hall meeting we have realized that we are eligible."

Once someone registers, FEMA will send a house inspector to assess damages.  

Officials said to make sure the person knocking on your door is certified. 

"Keep in mind that FEMA does not charge for this inspection and we do not request any type of financial data like bank account data or anything like that," Stolar said.

"It's very important that these families get back to their communities, get their children back into their local schools and that their parents get back to work," Stolar said.
 
Farenthold said he and FEMA plan to host a similar town hall in Aransas Pass next week.
 

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