Winter Storm Recovery Resources
Feb. 2021 has been epic! Portions of Boerne and Kendall County remained below freezing for the better part of a week and we saw multiple waves of icy weather and two snowstorms. We know many people fared well during this week of nonstop winter weather. We also know that many people struggled through utility outages and water damage, and the impacts will continue. Below is key information that will help homeowners, renters and property owners navigate the recovery process.
Boerne Mayor Tim Handren and Kendall County Judge Darrel Lux have filed disaster declarations, as has Gov. Greg Abbott. President Joe Biden also partially approved the governor’s request for a major disaster declaration. Kendall County was approved in the initial request and has been approved for FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency Individual Assistance.
The Governor and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM( will continue to work to ensure the federal government provides appropriate assistance to individual Texans as well as to state and local governments.
Individuals and business owners in counties included (Kendall County is included) in the president's declaration who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585. Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Texas businesses and residents as a result of the President's recent major disaster declaration.
We invite you to also complete a survey for TDEM. This damage collection survey will assist our local jurisdictions with eligibility for potential federal recovery programs.
Please Note: Reporting damage to the Texas Division of Emergency Management is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.
Contact your insurance company. Ask about your policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Save all receipts, including those for food, temporary lodging, or other expenses that may be covered under your policy. Your insurance company may also have recommended contractors.
Do your research. Find businesses you can trust on BBB.org. Check your state or provincial government agency responsible for registering and/or licensing contractors. Get references from friends and relatives.
Resist high-pressure sales. Some storm chasers use tactics such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot. Be pro-active in selecting a contractor and not re-active to sales calls on the phone or door-to-door pitches. Disaster victims should never feel forced to make a hasty decision or to choose an unknown contractor.
Be especially careful of door-to-door contractors. Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if sales people go door-to-door. Ask for identification. Check their vehicle for a business name, phone number, and license plates for our state.
Don’t sign over insurance checks to contractors. Get an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly (preferably with a credit card, which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment). Don’t sign any documents that give the contractor any rights to your insurance claims. If you have questions, contact your insurance company or agent.
Be wary regarding places you can’t see. While most contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know to inspect your roof and other areas of your house. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work. The same goes for attics, crawl spaces, ducts, and other places you cannot easily access or see for yourself.
BBB is also warning contractors to beware of storm chasers who offer to pay local construction companies substantial amounts of money to use the business’s established name, reputation, and phone. They masquerade as a local business, collect the insurance money and then move on, leaving the real business to deal with unsatisfied customers due to bad workmanship, unfinished work, or unfulfilled warranties.
List of external resources:
Report scams to BBB.org/ScamTracker.
Read BBB's Tips on hiring a contractor.