Q&A

Please bear with us. This page is being updated and is a living document. We will get all questions answers as quickly as possible.

Please see the Recovery After Hurricane Harvey Brochure which includes a “Disaster Survivor Checklist” with resources available to those in need. 

1) It still feels like we’re in the relief stage.Why are they now calling it Long Term Recovery?
Relief needs are still actively considered at this stage of the disaster. Local leadership has moved from emergency operations to long term recovery because serious, immediate threats to public safety have stopped now that the storm has since passed.  Our key goals right now are debris removal, housing, economic development, hazard mitigation, financial stability of local governments, donations management, and health and wellness.  These goals will be implemented over the next several years.

2) Who are the people running Long-Term Recovery? Where are they from? What is their experience with something like this?
The long-term recovery team consists of experienced staff who have worked in multiple long-term recovery operations in other states. Some examples include: Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. The team is headed by Mike Koerner, a former naval officer, volunteer firefighter, and congressional staff member. He is supported by two professional local government managers from Texas and Georgia. Both local government managers have extensive experience in community redevelopment and disaster management. Additional questions regarding the bios of these team members can be provided by request.

3) What is happening with the $ and goods that were donated? 
Generous contributions from donors all over the world have been made available to Aransas County citizens to assist in meeting their “unmet needs” for long term recovery. These funds are now held at the Coastal Bend Community Foundation in a special “Aransas County Disaster Recovery Fund” which is restricted to Aransas County residents who qualify as the most vulnerable of our population. Construction materials held in storage will also be made available as well as other materials which may be provided by future donors.

The donated funds will be used to assist those most in need in rebuilding their lives, as determined by the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group through its Case Management process. This will consist primarily in home repair and rebuilding by not only supplying funds, but also volunteer labor and construction materials. Assistance will be approved at an “Unmet Needs Table” where all donors will review and approve distribution of assistance to clients in order to provide a safe, secure and sanitary home.

Immediately, short term needs such as utility bills, food or clothing will not be handled through the long term recovery fund.

There is not a separate application process if residents have already applied for help through FEMA. Only homeowners who have not requested assistance from FEMA should request an appointment with a case manager. Walk-in cases will not be accepted. Case Managers will contact FEMA registered and qualified individuals and families directly and selection will be prioritized based on low income residents who are over 60 years old, disabled, single parents with children in the home, and/or honorably discharged US Veterans. CBDRG is asking all local agencies to share in Case Management collaboration, and if needed, residents will be contacted for more information to determine eligibility.

This is a recovery effort that will take years. We encourage community members to continue to assist each other as Texans do.

Additional details about long term recovery assistance, including priorities and documentation needed is shown here.

4) What are the permitting requirements for roofing my house? What about repairing my house?
Permitting requirements will follow state windload code requirements. Each local government jurisdiction (city/county) would be the responsible permitting issuer. Please see the web site phone/directory permitting agency.

5) How long do I have to make repairs? Are there fines involved? If my home is destroyed, who is responsible for removing it/clearing the debris?
Repairs need to be made as soon as possible to avoid health issues related to mold and mildew.

6) I have a lot of debris but I can’t carry it to the street. What should I do? 
Several local volunteer agencies are helping local residents with cleaning up debris.

7) What is the difference between the red and yellow stickers that were placed on structures in September? If I have a red sticker, do I have to demolish?
No real difference at this point. Different colors were used by different groups conducting the initial and ongoing assessments and original Search & Rescue or Welfare Checks.  We will need to get some further clarity on what actions will be required when we reach that stage of debris management and long-term recovery.

8) I can’t afford to make ANY repairs. What do I do?
There are multiple organizations who can assist with that need. Many non-profit partners will be in the community beginning in January for this type of assistance. If you are already enrolled in the IA system, you will be contacted by Case Managers to further assess your individual needs.  If you have not already enrolled, you may contact the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group at 361-596-3741.  Due to the high volume of need it may take some time for them to return your call and we ask for your continued patience.

9) My house has been in the same place for decades. Why am I now being told to elevate it?

10) I’ve been denied by FEMA, what now?
Keep trying. Be persistent! Contact FEMA and find out why. Sometimes it is simply the need for additional information. On another note, don’t forget that there is a source of local money and donations for “unmet needs”. Those funds can be provided once the FEMA route has been exhausted. The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group, in partnership with Aransas County Long-term Recovery are working to assess those “unmet needs” and apply the appropriate resources to assist the community in our recovery.

11) Where do I go to get food, clothing and other essentials?
Call Center Representatives can assist you Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 361-790-9496 with questions and concerns pertaining to the long-term recovery. They can also be reached by email at info@aransascounty.org.

12) Where do I sign up to get volunteers to help with clean-up at my home?
Please contact Jordan Mims at 361-729-6382.  He maintains a list of volunteers and jobs that need to be completed. He would be happy to place you on the list to match up volunteers and simple jobs for clean up.

14) I was renting and don’t have a place to live. What do I do?

15) Is there a single source for information on financial assistance, goods donations, agencies helping out in the area, or other resources available to local residents?
Call Center Representatives can assist you Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 361-790-9496 with questions and concerns pertaining to the long-term recovery. They can also be reached by email at info@aransascounty.org.

16) I keep hearing about the Governor’s Rebuild Texas Commission. How will that help us?
The Governor’s Commission has been a fantastic resource in support of the recovery effort. Some examples include a $1M dollar donation of new Kubota equipment for Aransas County, Rockport and Fulton. In addition, the Commission has dispatched technical experts to assist local government in completing complex Public Assistance Requests to recover the millions of dollars spent in response to the storm event. The Commission has also been very active in working to identify new dollars in Washington to help rebuild the area and for items such as housing, the Court House, Debris removal and more. These issues will cost millions and even billions State-wide. The Commission is helping identify dollars at the federal level as well as private sector to address these needs.

17) When will the burn ban end?
The burn ban has been lifted as of Wednesday, December 06, 2017. Please call 361-729-2222 to report when and where you will be burning. Burns must be supervised at all times with a water supply on site and must be extinguished by dusk. Remember no burning is allowed within city limits.

18) What exactly is happening with the transfer station? May I use it or not?  What about the people repairing my home?
Yes, the transfer station has returned to normal operations. However, due to volume and environmental rules, the station will periodically be closed as the overall volume being received reduces capacity and makes the need to remove waste necessary in order to stay in compliance with the operating permit issued by the state environmental agencies.

Beginning January 1st, any person who brings in a load for disposal will be subject to the normal applicable fees. Currently, the charge is 6 cents per pound for cash customers or 7 cents per pound for a charge account. Brush is charged at 3 cents per pound. The Transfer Station only accepts cash or check.

19) What is the schedule of the debris removal? I hear statistics but I don’t know if they have done more than one pass through in my neighborhood. Is it too late?
Keep putting it out! The recovery has now passed 2 Million Cubic Yards of debris collected. This exceeds 10% of the entire State of Texas debris volume! This massive task has been handled with the help of our contractor, TxDoT, and multiple private sector haulers. To give you some perspective, it takes 1 acre of land piled 20ft high to handle 30,000 cubic yards of debris! According to our records, we are more than 90% complete with the first pass through Aransas County with another to follow.  We believe pick up will extend into the spring months of next year.

Following the Christmas holidays our website will have more specific patterns of where debris trucks will be going. We will attempt to get advance notice out to these areas before the pick up is done. If you have specific questions, you can call 361-790-9496.  We will ensure that the community will be given several weeks’ notice to get their debris onto the Right of Way (ROW) before our teams come by for their final pass.

20) Is any of the long term recovery fund used for salaries and overhead?
No, all funds donated will be used to support the citizens of Aransas County in their recovery efforts. The only cost to that fund is a CBCF administrative fee of .25%; which is 1/4 of 1 percent.