Report Consumer Fraud / Price Gouging in Disaster Relief
Attorney General of Texas (OAG)
A natural disaster leaves more than uprooted lives in its wake. It also pulls in an army of price gougers, fly-by-night door-to-door contractors, and bogus charities. If you are the victim of a Home Repair Scam or Price Gouging, call the Office of the Attorney General toll free at 1-800-252-8011 or visit: OAG site (ww.oag.state.tx.us) and Disaster Scams (https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/disaster.shtml)
Toll free: 800-252-8011
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Weather Scam Alerts (http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0023-weather-emergencies) To file a complaint with the FTC, visit: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1.
Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General
K - 12
Texas Education Agency
School closings, enrollment information for displaced students
U.S. Department of Education
Federal student loan borrowers who have been impacted by a federally declared natural disaster can contact the Federal Student Aid Office at the U.S. Department of Education.
Federal Student Aid (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/disaster) or Toll free: 800.433.3243.
Health and Safety
US Department of Health and Human Services
Disasters & Emergencies
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
For the most up-to-date information for people with medicare and Medicaid and their providers in regards to natural disasters, extreme weather and emergencies.
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)
Provides aging and disability services, support,and opportunities.
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
DARS assists people with disabilities and children who have developmental delays.
Texas Health and Human Services
Texas Health and Human Services provides the leadership and direction for the health and human services system for Texans. Parent organization to DADS, DARS, DFPS, and DSHS.
Toll free: 877-541-7905
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program: 800-WIC-FORU (800-942-3678)
- Disabled Veterans: 713-748-3404
- Emergency Prescription Assistance Program: 866-935-4135
- Food Stamps: 877-541-7905
- Kidney Dialysis: 866-407-3773
- Dial 2-1-1 for any other assistance
- Social Security: 800-772-1213
Mental Health, Substance Abuse
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Stress, anxiety and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after any natural or human-caused disaster.
Disaster Distress Helpline (http://www.distresshelpline.org/)
Toll free: 800.985.5990
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
DSHS Hurricanes page provides health, mental health and substance abuse services to Texans.
Texas State Board of Pharmacy
Pharmacies and pharmacists may obtain emergency prescription refills and establish a remote location to provide prescription dispensing services on an emergency basis.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
DFPS protects children, elderly, and people with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Housing, Hotel, Lodging Resources
Search for Affordable Apartments
Immediate Needs (Food, Clothing, and Shelter)
Find local emergency assistance. Visit TDHCA’s “Help for Texans” page:
- Select the Emergency & Homeless Services button
- Enter the county in which you live
- Press the “Find Help” button
American Red Cross
You can visit a local office or call their toll-free number at 866-438-GET-INFO or 866-438-4636.
This three digit, easy-to-remember phone number provides access to quick information and referrals for affordable housing; child care; disaster relief; emergency food, such as food banks and soup kitchens, and more.
Dial 2-1-1 (this is a toll free number).
Apply for assistance (www.disasterassistance.gov)
Toll free: 800-621-FEMA (3362)
Toll free TTY: 800-462-7585 (for people with speech or hearing disabilities)
USDA Food Assistance for Disaster Relief
USDA Food Assistance for Disaster Relief (www.fns.usda.gov) or call 1-800-221-5689
Jobs and Unemployment Information
FEMA will often hiretemporary employees to assist Texans impacted by natural disasters. Anyone interested in this type of temporary employment should enter their resume into the database at Work in Texas (www.workintexas.com). Resumes are NOT being accepted in person, at the door, or from friends and family, or by fax or mail. FEMA will not post ads in the newspapers.
Department of Labor
Information on registering for unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment assistance in English and Spanish 24 hours a day.
Toll free: 866.487.2365
Texas Workforce Commission
Unemployment Insurance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance; Open Workforce Centers in Houston and Surrounding Areas; Temporarily Closed Workforce Centers in Hurricane Affected Areas.
Toll Free: 800-939-6631
Missing Persons Registry 1-877-568-3317
American Red Cross 1-866-438-4636
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Toll free: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)
Call toll free 888-777-5320 to locate a person with special medical needs who was evacuated because of severe weather.
News and Condition Reports
U.S. Small Business Administration
The Office of Disaster Assistance provides low interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.
Has your home or apartment unit been damaged?
Register with FEMA. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or register online at: (www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm)
Homeowners with home insurance:
Contact your insurance agent immediately. If you need information, have a complaint, or can't locate your agent or company, call the toll-free Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439. The Consumer Help Line is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday.
FEMA Home repair assistance programs:
FEMA will determine whether you are eligible for help from the FEMA grant program, or if you will be referred to the Small Business Administration for low-interest home repair loan assistance. Keep your receipts and take pictures of damage before you make any repairs.
FEMA Programs include:
- Up to $28,800 for home repair or replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
- Short-term rental assistance for either a hotel, apartment, or other shelter.
- Initial rental assistance may be provided for up to 3 months for homeowners and at least 1 month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or register online
People with speech or hearing disabilities call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
FEMA home inspection process
Blue Roof Program
Homeowners may have plastic sheeting installed over a damaged roof area by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors.
Toll Free Hotline: 888-ROOF-BLU or 888-766-3258.
Tips for Repairing Your Home
Federal Trade Commission
Tips for consumers who may be facing major repairs after a disaster hits home.
TDHCA-Funded Home Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Assistance
Find local home rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance provided by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ network of local organizations. Visit TDHCA’s “Help for Texans” page:
- Select the Home Repair button
- Enter the county in which you live
- Press the “Find Help” button
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Tax information about exemptions, waivers and extensions for sales, hotel, diesel, and IFTA taxes.
Ways You Can Help