No internet? Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launches disaster call center for those with no access – ReporterNews.com


Natalie Neysa Alund
 
| Austin American-Statesman

On the heels of the record freeze that led to widespread power outages, Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday announced the launch of a call center to assist Texans who have limited or no internet access.

The center, set in motion by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, with help from the Texas Military Department, is for those unable to submit information through the online State of Texas Assessment Tool, or iSTAT.

“The information gleaned from the iSTAT will help us advocate for the support and assistance our communities need to recover from the winter storm,”  Abbott said. “This call center is available to help Texans without internet access complete this crucial survey.” 

Texans are urged to fill out the iSTAT, either online or over the phone if internet access is limited, to help the state identify damages across Texas and help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred during the recent severe winter weather event. 

The data, according to the governor’s office, is also needed to provide information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and highlight the need for federal disaster assistance for individuals. 

Residents can call 844-844-3089 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week to submit their disaster damage information. 

If needed, a state emergency management professional will visit affected homes to collect photos and documentation of damage for the validation process, the governor’s office said.

Those with internet access can visit damage.tdem.texas.gov to complete the survey.

Natalie Neysa Alund is based in Nashville at The Tennessean and covers breaking news across the south for the USA TODAY Network. Reach her at nalund@tennessean.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

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