AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration Thursday for communities in Southeast Texas impacted by severe storms that caused damage to homes and businesses earlier this week. The disaster declaration, which includes Harris and Orange counties, will further support the State of Texas' recovery efforts in response to extensive damage sustained due to tornadic activity in Pasadena, Deer Park, and neighboring Southeast Texas communities. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as damage assessments are completed.
“The State of Texas is ready to assist Texans and businesses impacted by tornados in Southeast Texas communities,” said Governor Abbott. "This disaster declaration will swiftly provide all necessary resources to help Texans navigate the recovery process during this difficult time. Texans impacted by severe weather are encouraged to self-report sustained damages to their homes or businesses through the iSTAT survey. Join Cecilia and me in praying for Texans and communities affected by these tornados as they begin to recover."
At the Governor’s direction, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) deployed state emergency response personnel yesterday to affected areas to conduct preliminary damage assessments alongside local responders, with those efforts continuing through this week. The Governor also directed TDEM to prepare response resources ahead of the severe weather threats and engage state assets in support of local officials across Texas.
TDEM has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide personnel to participate in joint preliminary damage assessments to certify the damage. This effort will help determine whether Texas meets federal requirements for disaster assistance.
Yesterday, Governor Abbott urged all impacted Texans to complete TDEM’s iSTAT self-reporting damage survey to help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred during the recent severe weather and expedite federal disaster assistance. The survey, available in both English and Spanish, can be accessed by visiting damage.tdem.texas.gov. Reporting damage to TDEM is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.