If you’re from Frio County and reading this post, you probably already received notices about how to apply for individual disaster assistance. And if you already tried to apply, you probably noticed that only 77 of Texas’ 254 counties are eligible- and Frio is not one of them.
The Frio County Commissioners Court is working hard to make this individual disaster assistance available to all of our residents. Governor Abbott’s announcement yesterday, Saturday February 20 at noon, provoked the ire elected officials across the entire state of Texas:
WHAT ACTION HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN?
At the Frio County level, Judge Arnulfo C Luna, with the assistance of Commissioner Raul Carrizales, Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Kallio, and other officials drafted an Emergency Disaster Declaration to send to Governor Abbott on February 16th- a crucial first step taken early in the disaster to claim Frio’s fair share of aid.
At the State level, two days after receiving Frio County’s emergency declaration and request, Governor Abbott sent a request to President Biden for individual aid for all 254 Texas counties. “I am requesting Public Assistance (all categories), Individual Assistance (all programs), and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for all 254 Texas Counties,” the letter stated…
At the Federal level, as we know by now, President Biden approved only 77 of the 254 counties requested by Governor Abbott for individual assistance. Elected officials across the state are demanding answers, including the Frio County Commissioners Court.
⬆︎ Texas House Rep. Stan Lambert
⬆︎ Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams
WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
If you’re a resident:
- ***UPDATE 2/21, 12:30pm – Fill out this State survey to help the State understand the amount of damage in Frio County: https://arcg.is/uOrOb . The success of this effort will assist us with the eligibility to potential federal programs.
- Track all of your disaster related expenses including but not limited to cleanup and repairs. This will prepare you for aid, whether it comes from FEMA or if another source becomes available
- Take photos to document damage
- Keep all receipts
- Follow social media for updates, and share news with those without internet
- Keep the pressure on local officials
If you’re an elected official:
To quote Dilley Police Chief Homer Delgado, “make noise.” Our legislators need to hear us. Don’t stop at the district level. If you don’t have contacts at the State or Federal level, make them.
I’d like to thank everyone who helped get us through the storm. Right now, there are too many residents, too many elected and appointed officials, too many examples of courage and initiative to even attempt to name names for fear of leaving anyone out. The response to this emergency has not ended, and some of us are still working round the clock. To everyone who showed up during this storm to help our friends, families and neighbors in Frio County…
Frio County Commissioner, Pct. 4
Map of the 77 counties:
Courthouse Photo Credit: Constable Rudy Ortegon