FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Centers

image of DRC lines"I've been here maybe about an hour-and-a-half. I'm just somewhere to see somebody to get some questions answered. That's great."

Carmida Sigers is in a line with a bunch of other people in front of a Home Depot on the North Freeway. Many sit on orange buckets, the kind you'd buy inside the store, as they wait their turn to talk to FEMA representatives.

"I'm trying to get information because I found out from my job that it had a lot of damage and then I just found out yesterday through a voice mail that I no-longer have a job, so I'm trying to get some information as to what do I do now."

Sigers is already registered with FEMA. She called the 1-800-621-FEMA number and is now in the system. Many in line haven't made that call yet. DRC manager Roy Broeren says they might be wasting their time.

"We're telling them you're better off to go home and stay on the telephone and keep calling that 800-number until you finally get through.ξξAnd then once you get an ID number, then come back to the center — this one or anyone that's in the area — and we'll have some information for you."

"We're not getting any information about Bolivar area, particularly the Kingston Beach area."

Larry Perkins is frustrated. He hasn't been able to work since Ike and is looking for answers and some help from FEMA.

"I wanted to see a live person because my problem is all they sent me was this SBA packet and all it is is an application for an SBA loan. When I call the number to find out about FEMA, I don't get any through-put."

Farther up the line, Debra Mose, who lives in Denver Harbor, is happy to have her electricity back. She's got bigger problems than that though.

"I'm already registered. Just hoping to get some assistance to get this 50-foot tree out of my yard and one bigger tree out of my roof so we can stay there. It's moving pretty fast despite the amount of people out here. It's good to see FEMA out helping. Just thankful."

There are four Disaster Recovery Centers in Houston, at the Home Depot at 10707 North Freeway, at the Home Depot at 6810 Gulf Freeway, at the Home Depot at 11500 Chimney Rock and one at the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, building 1383. The DRC's are open from 9-6 until further notice.
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