Monthly Archives: August 2017

Houston Helping After Harvey

Houston Helping After Harvey


Since Hurricane Camille in 1969, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) has worked to coordinate all local religious, other non-profits and government agencies with one another as we all identify resources and avoid duplication in our efforts to restore communities hit by disasters.

If you are working as a non-profit in a Harvey flooded community you are invited to join the VOAD community of others working toward the goal of restoring the lives of those affected by Harvey.  ‘

To begin, go to and fill out a survey to join the greater community of Harvey helpers.

Also, anyone looking for those who have signed up to volunteer or for those wishing to volunteer, go to

Finally, the website for VOAD is  For further questions, email

Debris and Damage Assessment

HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS—The Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline is now open to assist Harris County residents living in unincorporated areas of the County with recovery and rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.

Harris County
Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline

The Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline staff is available to help residents answer questions about the following list of services:

  • Debris separation and removal from public roads and residential subdivisions.
  • Residential/Commercial Permits for repairing or replacing a damaged structure.
  • Phone numbers for other general recovery resources related to other basic needs.

The major goal of the Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline is to ensure that public roads and other infrastructure do not pose an immediate threat to public safety. Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment teams are currently working to conduct safety and damage assessments, while clearing debris from public roads in areas where flood waters have receded.

If you are in the process of clean-up and debris removal from your property, please take precautions to prevent disaster-related casualties and fatalities.

  • Be aware of damaged water, gas, and electric lines.
  • Be aware of damaged building and construction materials.
  • Do not attempt to conduct major tree work or reconstruction without proper equipment, permits, and training.
  • Be aware of household hazardous waste and contaminants.
  • Report any hazardous materials spills to: Harris County Pollution Control Services Department at 713-920-2831.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides unemployment benefits for individuals who lost their jobs or self-employment or who are no longer working as a direct result of a major disaster for which a disaster assistance period is declared, and who applied but are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. See the Eligibility section for details.

Worker Protections During or After Natural Disasters

Employers may not discharge or discriminate against employees who evacuate under emergency evacuation orders. Employers who violate this provision are liable for any loss of wages or employer-provided benefits and must reinstate the employee to the same or equivalent position.

Emergency personnel and those who provide for the safety and well-being of the public are not covered by this law but their employer must provide them with adequate emergency shelter.

For more information, refer to Emergency Evacuation Discrimination.

If you have lost your job because of Hurricane Harvey, you can apply for unemployment benefits online with the Texas Workforce Commission.   Click Here to file for Unemployment Benefits 

If you have not been paid wages from an employer, you can file a wage claim form.  Click here for Wage Claim Information.

So Called Blue Tarp Bills Taking Affect Do Not Apply to Flood Insurance

Concerns raised about state statues taking effect as of September 1st that would lessen penalties to insurance companies in certain circumstances will not affect most victims of Hurricane Harvey according to Sondra Brown of Gulf Coast Legal Aide.

Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 1774 do affect windstorm and homeowners insurance but not flood insurance according to Brown.

Flood insurance is administered through the federal government and is not subject to state law, Brown says.