Highlights from Town Hall Meeting with Greg Travis, District G Council Member on September 14th-
(contributed by one of our residents who attended the meeting)
• He can be reached with concerns via text at (832) 627-8023 between 5am-10pm
• Requested continued calls to 311, as that is how the mayor’s office assesses needs, saying “I go in with concerns and am told that I only had five 311 calls.” City organization chart has everything under the mayor, so we need to complain via 311 to help him take action.
• West Houston was “Hardest hit, longest hit, biggest problem”.
• There is no solid waste pickup schedule yet and it will ‘Be quite a while” before one is created.
• 4500 rescued, 700 animals. (This tally must not include citizen-led rescues)
• 800,000 have applied for FEMA due to Harvey
• If you receive a denial saying you don’t qualify for aid, read through to the bottom of the letter, as it may explain denial was based on need for more information.
• “If you are denied, appeal, appeal, appeal!” to push for more help.
• 1800 FEMA inspectors in the Houston area, currently training 200 more, but expected wait time for inspection in 21 days.
• Go to disasterassitance.gov to track the progress of your case. If you feel you aren’t being heard, go to a DRC site to meet in person with FEMA reps.
Westside Police Chief:
• Force was cut in half during flood event, which made communication and utilization of officers on duty difficult.
• Explained mandatory evacuation was based on electrical, sewage, and other health hazards in the water.
• Wear protective equipment, even if just in the street! Mold is drying and becoming powdery, which means it is a continued health hazard even on the curb.
• Security – There are both undercover and uniformed officers throughout West Houston.
• Try to follow FEMA guidelines as you trash things. If you didn’t already, not a big deal, but try to abide by categories moving forward.
• Takes 1 to 1.5 trash trailers PER HOUSE to haul flood debris, so slow and laborious process.
• TXDOT will begin helping with solid waste removal.
• If you are in the 100 year floodplain, all repairs to flooded structure require a permit.
• If not in the 100 year floodplain, drywall, cabinets, flooring, and carpet do NOT require a permit.
• Windows, exterior doors, and interior garage doors need permits.
• Electrical and plumbing require permits, make sure that your electricians and plumbers are really licensed. Public Works will be on lookout for unlicensed workers parading as licensed.
• Register with FEMA for critical needs, housing assistance, then get referral to SBA for low interest loan.
• SBA loans are free application, no obligation
• 1.75% fixed rate if meet economic qualifications, otherwise closer to market rate 3.5% fixed rate.
• 500+ loan processors on staff
• Located at 1301 Fannin, open 7am-7pm, 7 days a week for the foreseeable future
• Be sure to wear protective gear… gloves, masks, etc
• Asthmatics, very young, elderly, and immunocompromised should not be involved in cleanup effort.
• Watch where you step, be aware of surroundings and risks
• Porous items that were contaminated cannot be adequately cleaned and should be thrown out.
• Non-porous items can be decontaminated. (No info provided on how to do so)
• Air monitors are back up and running,
• If you were in flood waters, make sure you are up to date on tetanus shot, watch for infection.
• Get your flu shot.