FEMA

If they had known, they never would have bought the house on Bayou Glen Road. Sure, it was a beautiful lot, tucked in a bend of the creek, backyard woodsy and wild, the neighbors friendly and the street quiet. A little piece of nature just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. It was exactly what John and Heather Papadopoulos — recently married, hoping to start a family — were looking for in 2007. They didn't think much about the creek that ran along their yard, aside from appreciating the birds it attracted to the neighborhood.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

As we celebrate this holiday of being thankful, we would be remiss not to also think about those who are struggling. This week, we’ve featured stories of the hard time many of our fellow Texans are having rebuilding their homes and their lives after Hurricane Harvey.

So how much damage did Harvey do to Texas homes?

The National Guard/Cpt. Martha Nigrelle/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

With a deadline to apply for FEMA assistance looming for Texans rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, questions about getting federal and state help remain for many residents in areas hit the hardest by the storm.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Right now, an army of FEMA home inspectors is working its way through parts of Texas decimated by Hurricane Harvey. The inspectors are recording information that will help the government decide who gets disaster aid and how much. But the way that money is distributed has come under fire.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The City of Austin announced Thursday that Mayor Steve Adler declared a Local State of Disaster to remain in effect until taken up at an upcoming special called City Council meeting.

At the meeting, to take place this Sunday, the ratification and extension of the declaration has been added to the agenda. Adler stated the declaration in a memo to council:

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Today is the deadline for people in West to apply for federal assistance.

It’s been nearly eight weeks since the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people and destroyed around 150 homes. So far, FEMA has registered 789 survivors and allocated $7.6 million to assist in the recovery.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given Texas $31.2 million to help cover the costs of the devastating wildfires that spread across the state in 2011. The money will go to help the recovery in Bastrop and at least nine other wildfires during that year.

FEMA says the funding covers about 75 percent of the overall costs including materials, equipment, meals, air support and logging.

Following Superstorm Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has received good grades from politicians and even some survivors of the storm. In part, that's due to lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.

For Staten Island resident Deb Smith, whose house was flooded by the storm surge from Sandy, FEMA has been a savior.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which puts victims of Texas wildfires in hotels  while they search for more permanent housing, is coming to an end.

The program will officially end on December 9th in the six counties designated for assistance. Those counties include Bastrop and Travis counties in Central Texas, Cass and Marion in East Texas and Montgomery and Waller counties in the Houston area. 

"We feel confident that we can transition those families that are still living in hotels and motels into a more permanent situation," says Ray Perez, a FEMA public information officer speaking to KUT News from Bastrop.

Photo by KUT News

This Wednesday, don't be alarmed if you turn on your radio or TV and hear an Emergency Alert System test. The test will be run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Photo by Lizzie Chen for KUT News.

The current budget standoff in D.C. has some serious implications for disaster relief efforts here  in Central Texas. As lawmakers scramble to find a short term fix, one thing is becoming clear:  If FEMA doesn't receive new funding, aid work will cease.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath

A growing impasse on Capitol Hill could have ramifications for victims of the Bastrop County wildfires.