FEMA Individual Assistance now available for those affected by Imelda

October 10th, 2019

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now offering assistance to Houston residents affected by Tropical Storm Imelda, Houston City Councilman Dave Martin has announced.

Applications for FEMA Individual Assistance for Imelda recovery will be open through Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. FEMA may provide Houston home owners, certain types of renters, and businesses with the following types of assistance:

  • Home/Primary Residence: FEMA provides assistance to individuals and families who have lost their homes as a result of a presidentially-declared disaster. If you are a renter or homeowner you may qualify for assistance. By law, FEMA assistance cannot duplicate the assistance you receive from your insurance company, but you may receive assistance for items not covered by insurance. If your home was impacted by a major disaster, FEMA recommends that you apply for assistance by clicking here.
    • NOTE: FEMA does not offer assistance for a secondary home. Federal guidelines only allow FEMA to provide housing assistance when one’s primary residence is impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster.
  • Business: FEMA does not offer assistance for small businesses impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster. However, FEMA partners with the Small Business Administration, which offers low interest loans for business damages. Learn more about the business loan application process by clicking here.
  • Other Needs Assistance: FEMA offers disaster assistance for some other disaster-caused expenses, including medical and dental, child care, funeral and burial, essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle, and some clean-up items.

Click here or call 1-800-621-FEMA for more information. Residents can visit www.houstonrecovers.org for additional recovery information.

Port chairman stresses need for a deeper, wider channel

October 1st, 2019

Port of Houston Commission Chairman Ric Campo updates the BAHEP crowd on the State of the Port at the Hilton.

By Kathryn Paradis

Neither rain nor wind nor anything else brought on by Tropical Storm Imelda could stop Ric Campo, chairman of the Port of Houston Authority, from his appointed task of speaking to members of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership about the state of the port.

Considering the state of the weather Sept. 17, a good-sized audience gathered at the Hilton for the late afternoon reception.

What is the state of the port? It’s good. It’s really good. There are nearly 200 public and private terminals that make up the port. Houston is the nation’s No. 1 region for exports and home to the largest petrochemical manufacturing complex in the Americas.

Energy production and the export of crude oil, along with the increasing global demand for chemicals produced in the region, are major drivers of this success. This activity along the 52-mile ship channel has helped make the port the No. 1 U.S. port in foreign waterborne tonnage.

The economic impact of the greater port nationally includes 3.2 million jobs and $802 billion in economic value. In Texas, the port generates 1.35 million jobs and has an economic impact of $339 billion.

However, such growth can also create problems. Since 2015, there have been nine ship-ship or barge-ship collisions. He cautioned, “You ultimately have to get down to really simple concepts — no channel, no port, no port, no cargo, no cargo, no commerce, no commerce, no jobs. It really is about the channel.

“We have to make sure the channel is expanded and improved in order to meet this demand that is going on with increased cargo when it comes to both energy and containers. If we can’t move our energy products out through the channel, then the entire supply chain backs up. This creates serious issues for energy companies, for job growth, and for Texas. So, it’s really critical that we have a deeper and wider channel with two-way traffic.”

He concluded, “A wider channel is a safer channel. We have to make sure we protect lives as well as the environment. Jobs are important, but we can’t lose sight of the safety of everyone who lives around the channel. . .It will cost $1 billion . . .a lot of money, but when you think about the economic benefit, it’s really not. It’s about making sure that our kids and their kids have economic opportunity in the future and a better quality of life.”