Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FEMA chief soothes nerves frayed by denial letters

Frank Patterson and FEMA honcho Kevin Hannes at Commissioners Court
Disaster relief depends on insurance -
Officials want more information 

Waco – The letters went out to people who had answered a survey about the damage to their homes and businesses when the West Fertilizer Co. exploded.

When property owners indicated they had insurance, said Kevin Hannes, the disaster coordinator for FEMA, they were turned down for assistance. More than 425 households are affected.

“I know,” he said, “it's a terrible letter. I'm not defending the way it's written.”

Not to worry, he added, in remarks to the McLennan County Commissioners Court.

All folks need to do is come to the Point West Bank in downtown West to survey the amount an type of insurance they have. They may be eligible for 30-year loans to homeowners up to $200,000 at less than 2%, travel trailers to park in their driveways in which they may live for up to a year, motel rent assistance to be extended to June 3, and help with debris removal and demolition of ruined properties.

He praised McLennan County Emergency Coordinator Frank Patterson for his work as the on-site commander, calling the minimal loss of life “a sprint.”

In return, County Judge Scott Felton praised Mr. Hannes and his department for their excellent services.

Ms. Julie Bradford, an assistant to Mr. Hannes said that when people read their letters of denial, they may have overlooked the part that invited them to come to the Point West Bank for further assistance with an inventory of their insurance coverage. Claimants must first apply to their insurance companies to determine their eligibility, she explained.

Ms. Bradford may be reached at 225-421-6340, mobile, or by e-mail at Julie.Bradford@fema.dhs.gov

One may hear Mr. Hannes' remarks by clicking here:


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