Winter Storm Recovery

Local Assistance

Building and Construction Permit Fees Waived

The Bedford City Council approved a three-month permit fee waiver at the February 23 Council meeting for all residents and businesses needing to make repairs due to the recent winter storm. Please note, residents and businesses must still obtain building and construction permits, just the associated fees will be waived for applications received until May 24. For more information on permits and applications, visit bedfordtx.gov/185/Permits-Applications-Information....

Utility Billing Adjustments

To help residents with the unexpected costs incurred during the recent winter storm, the City of Bedford is doing the following:

  • Providing a 2,000-gallon water deduction off the usage amounts, which amounts to $8.88, which will be assessed on the April 1 or April 15 bills (depending upon which billing cycle you're on)
  • Removing the month with the highest usage when calculating sewer averaging 
  • Pausing water disconnections for non-payment of water bills until April 30, 2021
  • Continuing to not assess late fees for water bill payments (this practice has been in place since February 2020 in response to the pandemic)
  • Providing additional relief to customers who experienced broken pipes/water leaks. Those individuals should call the Water Billing Department at 817-952-2112 to request payment arrangements

For additional questions, please email customerservice@bedfordtx.gov or call 817-952-2112.

Atmos Energy Billing Information

Atmos Energy is addressing concerns regarding the recent extreme weather. For more information or assistance paying your bill, please visit Atmos' Winter Storm Information Page.


State Assistance

Texas Damage Survey

Gov. Abbot and the Texas Division of Emergency Management are encouraging Texans to complete the Self-Reporting Damage Survey to help the State identify damages across Texas and help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred during the recent winter weather. This data is also needed to provide information to FEMA and highlight the need for federal disaster assistance for individuals. Forms are available for both residential and commercial purposes.

The voluntary survey, is available in both English and Spanish, can be accessed by visiting www.TDEM.texas.gov/warm.. For those with limited or NO internet access, please call 844-844-3089 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week to submit their disaster damage information. This call center is specifically for Texans who are unable to submit information through the online iSTAT tool.

Please NOTE: Reporting damage to the Texas Division of Emergency Management is a voluntary activity and is NOT a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does NOT guarantee disaster relief assistance.

Texas Department of Insurance Assistance

If your home was damaged due to a broken water pipe, downed tree limbs, or other winter damage, contact your insurance company or agent to file a claim as soon as possible. These tips will help make the process go smoother:

  • Make a list of damaged property. Take pictures or video of the damage. Don't throw anything away until your insurance company tells you to.
  • Take steps to protect your home from further damage. Turn off the water and cover broken windows and holes in your roof if possible. Save all receipts. Your policy may cover these costs.
  • Try to be there when the insurance company comes to inspect the damage. If you can’t stay in your home, leave a note with information on where you can be reached.
  • Keep a list of everyone you talk to at your insurance company. Be ready to answer questions about the damage.
  • Ask about living expenses. Most policies will cover some of the costs you have if you are unable to live in your home because of damage that is covered by your insurance. Keep your receipts for these costs.
  • Ask about an advance payment if you need help quickly.
  • If you need shelter or emergency food or water, contact the Red Cross at 800-733-2767.

Call your insurance agent or company as soon as possible to report property damage.

More resources from the Texas Department of Insurance:

For company phone numbers, visit the Texas Department of Insurance Assistance website or call  800-252-3439. 

Tips to Avoid Fraud

  • Get more than one bid. That will help you decide which offers are too high or too good to be true.
  • Check references and phone numbers. Call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if a contractor has complaints.
  • Don't pay up front and don’t make your final payment until the job is finished. In a disaster, contractors from outside your area can’t ask for payment before they start work.
  • Avoid contractors who offer to waive your deductible or promise a rebate for it. That’s illegal under state law and your insurance company may ask for proof that you paid it.
  • Never sign a contract with blank spaces.
  • Report possible price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General. 

Disaster Distress Helpline

 This storm has taken a mental toll on all Texans. If you or someone you love is struggling please call the Disaster Distress Helpline. 

To assist people in the impacted area in coping with the stress of the winter storms, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration activated the Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support provides immediate 24/7, 365-days-a-year crisis counseling and support. Residents in affected areas may call or text 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Spanish speakers should press 2.


Federal Assistance

FEMA

For the fastest and easiest way to apply for disaster assistance, download the FEMA app or apply directly online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

If you were affected by the winter storm, apply for assistance. If uninsured, apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov. If you have insurance, file a claim with them first and then apply to FEMA. Benefits cannot be duplicated if you received insurance from your provider first.

Please review the FEMA Individual Assistance Program Fact Sheet and Checklist for more detailed information on eligibility, requirements, and limitations. FEMA has also provided a winter weather resources list.

To speak with a FEMA Community Education and Outreach Specialist about the best way to start home repair projects:

Specialists are available Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time

More resources are available at https://fema.connectsolutions.com/txmit

Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program

The SBA provides low-interest, long-term loans to help individuals and households with personal property, transportation, and expenses for moving and storage incurred due to a declared disaster.

Please review the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Flyer (Asistencia Para Desastre) for more detailed information on eligibility, requirements, and limitations for the programs listed above or visit DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s/

Food Assistance

The USDA has approved SNAP recipient’s ability to apply for food replacement benefits for food that was lost or destroyed. Call 211 to apply.