Dear Ramallah Family,

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine and its members, I would like to convey our concern, support and prayers to the people of Texas and Louisiana, especially our beloved Ramallah people and hope and pray they are safe.

Like the rest of America, we are watching in disbelief the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. As a result of an emergency meeting, the Board of Directors voted to allocate funds as well as raise more through a DONATION page to help defray some of the cost to members of our Ramallah community.

We have appointed a joint Federation and local club committee to assess and distribute the funds on an as-needed basis. In addition, we urge our community to research the resources provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assistance), and your local and state government. The state of Texas and the city of Houston are now accepting applications from people who need assistance and are affected by the hurricane.

We hope that the following information will help you navigate through the process of applying for the emergency fund. We urge you not to wait.

Since Hurricane Harvey has been declared a national emergency, the state of Texas is urging people who are affected by the disaster to reach out to the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army for immediate emergency help and to begin applying for FEMA disaster funds, which has already set-up an online application for people affected by this disaster. Please visit www.FEMA.gov. For your convenience, below is a clip from the FEMA Page and information from the local city hall about the process of applying for support.

If you live in Houston, funds are administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. If you need help, please call either the Mayor’s office at the 311-City helpline or the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Regarding support from FEMA, the followings are instruction on how to apply for assistance taken from their official website: www.fema.gov. This page provides information and guidance for disaster survivors who want to apply for assistance related to a federally declared disaster.  It includes a link to complete an application for FEMA assistance, a list of items you need when you apply for FEMA assistance, and the phone number for FEMA if you cannot complete an application online.  If you need immediate assistance call 911.

To determine if your damaged home is in a federally declared disaster area enter your address on DisasterAssistance.gov/address-lookup and apply for assistance. If you experience difficulty applying, call (800) 621-3362/TTY, (800) 462-7585 between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, 7 days a week. You can check the status of your application at DisasterAssistance.gov. Survivors have 60-days from the date of a declaration for Individual Assistance (IA) to apply for assistance.

If you are eligible for an IA grant you are not required to pay back the grant to FEMA.  There is no income threshold for Individual Assistance grants, but you may be referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low interest disaster loan to assist in your recovery.  These low interest disaster loans for homeowners and businesses from the SBA must be repaid.

In order to qualify, you must provide the agency with the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
  • A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses
  • The types of assistance FEMA provides to individuals and families
  • What happens if you have insurance?
  • What happens during your home inspection?
  • What happens after your inspection?
  • How to obtain a copy of your application/case file?
  • How to appeal FEMA’s decision regarding your assistance
  • Please watch our video: FEMA Registration Intake Video

IMPORTANT: Although the majority of people are trying to help, be cautious of some who will try to defraud you. Official governmental workers will not solicit your information unless they have all the proper identifications. Make sure to examine their information before you press vide them with your vital records. FEMA, state and local governments will not ask for any deductible in order to process your claim. If you have insurance and the insurance company is not refusing your claim, please report to FEMA and local law enforcement agencies.

When searching the websites for assistance, make sure the site ends with .gov. Do not visit .com website. 

Again, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families as you begin to recover from this natural disaster. Please know we will do everything we can to help you now and in the future. Call Kathy Harb at the Federation office (734) 425-1600 with questions.

Sincerely

Hanna G. Hanania, DDS
President, AFRP