Houston OEM and Partners Drive Derecho Recovery Efforts

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 5/27/2024, 11:59 a.m.
In the aftermath of the devastating derecho that swept through Houston on Thursday, May 16, the City of Houston Office …

In the aftermath of the devastating derecho that swept through Houston on Thursday, May 16, the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is at the forefront of recovery efforts. With unparalleled support from key partners, the city is navigating the challenging path to recovery, highlighting the strength and resilience of the community.

Community and Partnership in Action

Thomas Muñoz, Emergency Management Coordinator and Deputy Director for the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety & Homeland Security, praised the collective response: "Crisis brings out the best in this city, and the coordination and partnership we have seen over the past week has been phenomenal. As Houston recovers, I know that the bonds made in this storm will make us a stronger, more resilient place to live."

Sustained Support and Services

Key organizations such as the American Red Cross, Mercy Chefs, and the Salvation Army, bolstered by numerous volunteer and non-profit groups like the Houston Food Bank, are continuing to provide crucial services. Meals will be distributed throughout the weekend, and volunteers will remain active in supporting affected residents for weeks to come. City facilities are set to resume normal operations on Saturday.

Essential Recovery Resources

Residents impacted by the storm can apply for Individual Assistance through FEMA. Disaster Recovery Centers have been established at:

Boys & Girls Club: 8575 Pitner Rd., 77080

Fonde Community Center: 110 Sabine St., 77007

Steps for FEMA Assistance:

1. File your insurance claim.

2. Apply to FEMA at [disasterassistance.gov](https://disasterassistance.gov) or call 800-621-3362.

3. If required, FEMA will schedule an inspection.

4. Apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

5. Receive FEMA's decision.

SBA Disaster Loans

The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses, homeowners, renters, and non-profits in the declared disaster area. These loans cover losses not compensated by insurance or FEMA funding. For more details, visit [sba.gov/disaster](https://sba.gov/disaster).

Response by the Numbers

- Over 3,700 calls for service to the Houston Police Department.

- More than 21,000 calls for Fire & EMS.

- Nearly 3,000 people with disabilities or functional needs contacted for wellness checks.

- Over 15,000 meals served.

- More than 15,000 individuals served at ice and water distribution centers.

- Over 23,000 calls to 3-1-1.

- Around 1,000 people using city facilities as cooling centers.

- Over 300 overnight stays at American Red Cross shelters, which will remain open as long as needed.

Supporting Vulnerable Populations

Direct humanitarian aid has been provided to many senior and vulnerable living communities, where thousands faced harsh conditions. This response underscores the community's commitment to caring for its most vulnerable members.

Greater Houston Disaster Alliance Recovery Fund

In light of the significant impact of recent severe weather, the Greater Houston Disaster Alliance, a collaboration between the Greater Houston Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Houston, has launched the Severe Weather and Derecho Recovery Fund. This fund aims to support those affected by the storms, tornadoes, and flooding between April 26 and May 17, 2024.

For more information and to contribute, visit the [Greater Houston Disaster Alliance](https://houstontx.gov).

How to Give Back

Your support is vital in helping our community recover. Donations to the Severe Weather and Derecho Recovery Fund will directly assist those impacted by the recent weather events.

By working together and supporting one another, Houston can emerge from this disaster stronger and more united than ever.