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FEMA info
February 23, 2021, 3:12 PM

Dear Friends,
            On Monday, I participated with a Regional Church Zoom meeting about possible assistance for people and churches who experienced water damage from burst or leaking pipes. We had our Regional Minister, Andy Mangum, and our General Minister and President, Teresa Hord Owens, on the call as well as a representative from Board of Church Extension and Week of Compassion. We were given a four-step process to apply for a FEMA grant which I thought might be helpful for our church or individuals dealing with our winter storm aftermath.
            First thing is to take pictures of the damage. Pictures of water on the floor, cabinets, appliances, pipes etc. The second, and similar part, is to create a written list of damage to accompany the pictures. Sometimes pictures don’t capture the full nature or extent of the damages. Third is to file an insurance claim. And (simultaneously) fourth is to fill out the FEMA registration form to file for assistance.
            Caroline Arnold-Hamilton, from Week of Compassion, presented about FEMA and gave a lot of information about this process. I came away understanding a few reasons filing with FEMA is important. One, all the forms that are filed help the state apply for appropriate grant money. If the state doesn’t have accurate records on damages, it will often file for less assistance than is needed. Two, even if FEMA declines to assist, there are other options available that are made available because you are recorded as applying for FEMA, such as low-interest disaster relief loans. Three, if you do get FEMA assistance, it may take a prolonged time to complete the full process, but FEMA won’t drop you off…they will hang with you until the repairs are completed. The FEMA representative said there are still some claims that are almost finished from the damages done during hurricane Katrina. But if they start, they will keep at it until finished. (If you need assistance locating these forms, please let me know!)
            Our water damage at the church was kept to a minimum, I believe, because Steve came up to check on the building Saturday morning when the thawing began. He caught it early, so it did not flood the whole Fellowship Hall and beyond. The two-inch waterline in the kitchen ceiling above the microwave and small cabinet would have easily been capable of filling our facility if it had been allowed to flow a couple of more hours. Steve got our water shut off in that part of the building so the kitchen pipe break and the smaller pipe in the utility room only had time to cover the kitchen, table storeroom and utility closet, the BOC classroom, and the scout room.
            With the water cut off, Don McBurnett and I were able to get several emergency volunteers to come up and clean out everything that was standing in water so that our cleaning crew and Yard guys could come in with industrial wet vacs to pick up the standing water. So, let me say a BIG thank you to these folks who committed their Saturday morning to moving and rearranging our stored materials and equipment:
Steve Sutherland     
Jim Lackey                              
Don McBurnett
Bob Cawthon                                     
Bonnie Cawthon                    
Gerald Hill
Linda Higgins                                     
Bryan Higgins                         
Ron Hundley
Ronnie Perkins
Sherry Perkins                                    
Lori Sutherland                      
Dan Williams and Crew                     
Vickie Patton                                     
Casey Patton                         
Joe Veracruz (wet-vac owner)
If you have not seen some of the pictures taken of our water pipe adventure, I believe Don and Steve may have them. Some may be in this newsletter.
            I hope everyone is rejoicing at the returning warmth this week! WE SURVIVED the Texas artic winter!  Thanks be to God for this community of faithful people!
In Christ’s service together wherever He leads,