Preparedness & Recovery

Red Cross Releases Harvey Damage Assessment to VOAD Group

The Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster group met Monday to discuss how to address this issue and what the community still needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

by Victoria Advocate, Texas / September 19, 2017

(TNS) - Victoria, Texas nonprofit agencies report an urgent need of help for displaced residents even though the phones are not ringing.

The Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, or VOAD, group met Monday to discuss how to address this issue and what the community still needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Mark Longoria, pastor at Faith Family Church, suggested the group compile data of how many people are seeking housing and present it to local officials.

Members agreed the city had a housing problem before Harvey, so with so many properties damaged, the options are fewer for those in need.

"It's going to be hard for the renters to find a place that is affordable," Longoria said.

Mid-Coast Family Services, which prior to the storm helped residents in need of housing, called 44 apartment complexes Friday and found only nine units available through October.

The nonprofit sought housing for 21 families who had reached out to them.

The American Red Cross presented an initial damage assessment summary, which shows that 1,460 single-family dwellings were impacted by Harvey with at least eight of those homes destroyed and 165 sustaining major damage.

The data collected through Sept. 15 shows 88 multi-housing units and 174 apartments were also impacted in Victoria County.

This assessment is the first step in the recovery process and uses information gathered from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA, satellite pictures, local news reports and other sources to map out the areas of the worst damage. Volunteer teams then go out to verify the areas of damage.

According to current FEMA data, 5,516 households in Victoria County have been approved for the Individuals and Households Program, which includes home repairs and help for loss of clothing, furniture, appliances, vehicles and more.

This means so far, 17 percent of households in the county have received help from FEMA after Harvey.

The total number of FEMA registrations in the county is at 16,560.

Longoria said the national relief organization, Samaritan's Purse, which has been staying at Faith Family, is working through 1,010 work orders for debris clean-up and home repairs.

The Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity is also organizing minor home repairs through its Brush Up program and is partnering with Ashley Homestore.

The Red Cross plans to launch a website Thursday where severely impacted households from 39 Texas counties can apply for $400.

Registration will remain open until Oct. 10.

Another update is that Victory Christian Life Center, 1604 E. Crestwood Drive will be open from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Thursday distributing water, baby diapers, wipes, baby food, toiletries, canned goods, non-perishables and cleaning supplies.

"There are still a lot of needs out there," Longoria said. "Funding is going to be a huge issue as we go down the road here."

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©2017 Victoria Advocate (Victoria, Texas)

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