While the extreme weather from Winter Storm Uri has passed, residents across the state are still dealing with lost income, property damage and displacement.
Uri may end up costing Texas an estimated $200 billion in damages, according to The Perryman Group, a local economic research firm. Listed below are resources students and Denton residents impacted by the storm can utilize.
Federal and state assistance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has declared the Texas winter storm as an active disaster and currently offers funds for repairs to restore homes to a safe and comfortable condition. There is no dollar ceiling to disbursed aid and funds are given regardless of income, socioeconomic status and damage amount, Media Relations Specialist Nathan Custer said. Citizens have until April 20 to apply and can do so online or by calling 800-621-3362.
The Texas Workforce Commission offers Disaster Unemployment Assistance for those who lost their jobs due to the storm or were unable to work during the disaster because of workplace damages, personal injury or unsafe commute conditions. Applicants have until March 26 to apply and can do so either online or by calling 800-939-6631.
The Internal Revenue Service announced tax relief for Texans affected by the storm. Individuals, households and businesses now have until June 15 to file various tax returns and make tax payments. This includes some 2020 business returns previously due on March 15 and individual and business tax returns previously due on April 15.
Penalties on deposits due Feb. 11 through Feb. 26 will be abated. The IRS will waive the usual fees for requests for copies of previously filed tax returns.
United Way of Denton County has set up an Emergency Relief Fund for county residents who suffered during the storm, which will be distributed through nonprofits or direct client assistance. The aid is focused on emergency assistance for displaced individuals, as well as housing and other property repairs. Plumbing assistance is offered to economically disadvantaged residents, with priority given to households that are still without water and have elderly members or children.
United Way offers a tenant eviction prevention program that can be applied for on their website.
There are a variety of food pantries across the city, including the university’s own pantry. The Denton Wesley Foundation’s Shiloh Food Pantry is another on-campus resource that offers free groceries bimonthly. The Junction — previously Our Daily Bread and Monsignor King Outreach Center — offers various food programs including free lunch six times a week, a free farmer’s market and weekend snack packs. A comprehensive list of food assistance programs across the county can be found United Way’s food pantry webpage.
Featured Image: The Federal Emergency Management Agency Regional Headquarters is located in Denton, Texas. Image by Gurleen Kaur