March 22, 2021
Not all survivors of February’s storms are eligible for FEMA assistance. Below is a list of state and federal agencies offering disaster assistance.
- Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC)
HHSC is allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to use their food benefits to purchase hot foods and ready-to-eat meals through the end of March. Foods such as rotisserie chicken or grocery store deli foods can be purchased at retailers that accept SNAP anywhere in the state, using the Lone Star Card.
- SNAP recipients may also apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed, due to storm-related power outages, by dialing 2-1-1 (option 2).
- Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)
- Texas residents who lost their jobs, as well as self-employed individuals who have been unable to work, due to damage sustained from the severe winter storms, may apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is a federally-funded program administered by TWC which is accepting applications until March 26, 2021, at Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
- S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
To date, the SBA has approved more than $20 million in low-interest loans to storm-impacted Texans.
- SBA’s Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST weekdays. For more information about loans for homeowner, renters and businesses, or to apply for a loan, contact an SBA customer service representative by email at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov, by phone at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov.
- S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Rural Development Disaster Assistance offers several programs to help storm survivors improve the quality of life in rural communities. Among the programs available to rural homeowners and renters are:
- Rural housing loans offer a subsidy to help reduce mortgage payments for a short time. Your family income determines the amount of the subsidy. You may use the loan to help you buy, build, repair, improve or relocate your primary home. You may also use funds to buy and prepare sites, including water and sewer installation.
- Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants may be used to repair, improve or modernize your home. Available to homeowners over 62 years of age, this money may also be used for removing health and safety hazards from your home. Loans are available in amounts of up to $20,000; grants of
up to $7,500 (which may be combined with loans).
- Rural rental housing and cooperative housing assistance is available in nearly every county in Texas.
To qualify for any of these programs, you must live in a rural area. For more information or to apply for these and other USDA programs, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov .
- S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
HUD has announced federal disaster assistance programs to provide support to Texas homeowners and homebuyers. Programs include:
- Foreclosure protections for homeowners in presidentially declared major disaster areas; and
- FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary.
For more information on HUD disaster resources, visit https://www.hud.gov/info/disasterresources.
- Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
Fannie Mae’s Disaster Response Network™ offers free support for eligible homeowners from HUD-approved housing advisers, including:
- Personalized recovery assessment and action plan;
- Assistance filing claims (i.e. FEMA, insurance and SBA);
- Help working with mortgage provider on payment relief options;
- Access to Clearpoint’s Project Porchlight disaster recovery tools and resources; and
- Ongoing check-ins to help ensure a successful recovery.
For more information and to arrange to connect with a Clearpoint Project Porchlight adviser, call 877-833-1746.
- S. Department of the Treasury
Don’t let a disaster come between you and your money. If you get federal benefit payments by check, you can switch to direct deposit, so your money is directly deposited into a checking or savings account on payment day each month. This removes the risk of a delayed payment due to a disaster.
You may choose from two electronic payment options:
- Direct Deposit – Your payment is deposited into your checking or savings account. Learn more about direct deposit online at www.godirect.gov.
- Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® – A prepaid debit card you can use to make retail purchases, pay bills, and get cash back. It’s a no- or low-cost alternative to paper checks.
Redeem savings bonds early – before the end of the usual minimum 12-month holding period – if you live in a county designated in the severe winter weather declaration.
- If your Series EE, HH or I bonds were lost, damaged, destroyed or contaminated by the storms and flooding, you may be able to get faster replacement of these paper bonds. For more information, visit gov/indiv/bonds_eeredeem_disaster.htm.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Special tax law provisions may help individual taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of last February’s storms. Depending on the circumstances, the IRS is giving Texans until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.
Individuals and businesses in federally declared disaster areas can get a faster refund by claiming disaster losses on the previous year’s tax return, usually by filing an amended return. You may deduct the loss or partial loss of your home, household goods vehicles from disaster damage on your individual federal income tax return. For more information, visit the www.irs.gov website.
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a national hotline that offers year-round disaster crisis counseling. If you feel distressed because of the storms, you can use this free service. It’s toll-free, multilingual crisis support, and is available every day, 24 hours a day. Helpline staff provides counseling and support and can help you learn how to cope with common stress reactions. They can also provide information and referrals to local resources for follow-up care.
If you or someone you know is struggling in the aftermath of the Texas winter storms, call or text DDH at 800-985-5990. To learn more, visit https:www.SAMHSA.gov
- And More…
You can get access to more disaster help and resources, as well as a personalized list of available assistance at www.benefits.gov/benefit-finder/Household.
For the latest information on the Texas winter storms, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4586
February 26, 2021
Assistance Available for High Water Bills, Water Damage
We know that many residents’ homes were damaged by broken water pipes due to the recent winter storm. The Town is offering assistance to those who were most affected by the winter storm damage.
Leak Adjustment – The Town of Prosper offers a leak adjustment program for residential and commercial customers who experience an unusually high water bill, which is typically due to a water leak. Eligible customers who apply for the leak adjustment will only be responsible to pay for the normal rate of charge for their average monthly usage, plus 50% of the overage. Complete the Unusual/Large Bill Adjustment Request Form here: https://www.prospertx.gov/government/departments/utility-billing/unusual-large-bill-adjustment-request/ You may be required to submit receipts for a water line repair. Contact the Utility Billing Department for more information, or call 972-569-1180.
Plumbing Permit and Inspection Fees Waived – A permit and an inspection will be required for repair or replacement of ruptured water lines. The Town is waiving all permit and inspection fees for plumbing repairs related to the winter storm. Additionally, while plumbers must be registered with the Town, the Town will not collect a fee for the registration. Contact the Building Inspections Department for more information or call 972-346-3502. For a list of plumbing contractors that are registered with the Town for 2021, please visit: https://www.prospertx.gov/plumbing-contractors/
It is important to note that the annual Winter Averaging period to determine sewer rates for the following 12 months concluded on February 13, before the winter storm. Residents can be assured that any excessive water use due to dripping faucets or broken pipes will not affect sewer charges for the following year.
You may be eligible for reimbursement of non-insured expenses for broken pipes or water damage associated with the winter storm. Please visit DisasterAssistance.gov for more information and to apply for assistance.
Town Offers Informational Meetings on Disaster Assistance
Town of Prosper Emergency Management staff will offer two informational meetings for residents and businesses affected by last week’s winter storm damage. Kent Bauer, Emergency Management Coordinator, and Misti Townsend with the Texas Department of Emergency Management, will provide information on state and federal assistance programs, and how to apply. Information for residents will be presented on Wednesday, February 24 at 6pm, and a program for businesses will be offered on February 25 at 6pm. Meetings will be held via Zoom, and everyone is welcome. Visit the Town’s Facebook page for more information.
Disaster Assistance for Residents
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 849 5567 9335
Disaster Assistance for Businesses
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 840 1210 6105
What To Do If Your Water Line Ruptures
Follow the guidelines below from the Town of Prosper Building Inspections staff if a water line ruptures in your home:
- Shut off your water supply to limit further damage. Each home has a main water shutoff. For many older homes, the shut off is usually located in the flower beds in the front of the house. For many newer homes, the shut off is often located in the garage or utility room. If you need help locating your water shut off, call Public Works at 972-347-9969 or call the after-hours emergency line at 972-832-5812 between the hours of 3pm-7am.
- After shutting off the main water supply, homeowners should open faucets on the main level to drain the water distribution piping in the home. This will help to prevent additional damage.
- Dry and attempt to clean the affected area to prevent further damage.
- Contact a licensed plumber to assess the damage and make the necessary repairs. Homeowners can verify their plumber’s credentials with the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners here: https://tsbpe.texas.gov/portfolio/find-a-license-registration/
- It is imperative homeowners are diligent in checking contractor credentials and references.
- A permit and an inspection will be required for repair or replacement of ruptured water lines. The Town is waiving all permit and inspection fees for plumbing repair permits related to storm and power outages. Additionally, while plumbers must be registered with the Town, we do not collect a fee for the registration.
- Emergency repairs can be made prior to obtaining a building permit as long as the contractor applies for a permit on the next business day. The contractor must also leave the repair work accessible for inspection and testing.
For a list of plumbing contactors that are registered with the Town for 2021 and have obtained a trade-specific permit for plumbing, please visit https://www.prospertx.gov/plumbing-contractors/
For more information, please call the Town of Prosper Building Inspections Department at 972-346-3502.
To Help Protect Your Pipes From Freezing:
- Remove garden hoses from outside faucets and insulate them with styrofoam covers or rags.
- Leave faucets running at a trickle. Collect water in buckets or pans for later use to be conservation conscious.
- Leave cabinet doors open, and close all doors and windows to keep heat inside.
- If a water line breaks and you do not know how to shut the water off at the main cut off, call the Town of Prosper Public Works Department:
7:00 am – 3:00 pm – call 972-347-9969
3:00 pm – 7:00am – call 972-832-5812
Trash and Recycling Services
All residential trash/recycling services have been cancelled for the remainder of this week. Curbside trash, recycling and bulk collection will resume service next week, starting Monday, February 22 on the resident’s scheduled pickup day.
Residents may set up to three (3) extra bags of trash that will not fit into your full trash cart next to the cart (not on top), and those will also be collected.
Crews will be servicing trash routes first, then recycle routes. It is possible crews will collect recycling on a different day than your trash collection. Please leave carts out until service is provided and only contact CWD if trash is not collected on your scheduled day next week by calling 972-392-9300, Option 2.
Oncor and CoServ have ceased their rotating outages, and electricity service has been restored to the majority of Prosper residents. The power outages that remain are a result of damage from the winter storm, and are being addressed as quickly as possible.
Library Warming Station Will Open As Needed
The Prosper Community Library Warming Station has closed at this time, as power has been restored in most areas. Town staff will be available to quickly re-open the warming station if there is a need. If long-term shelter needs are required, Town staff will assist with making arrangements through the Red Cross. For questions, please contact Kent Bauer at 469-207-4731 or call Prosper Dispatch at 972-347-2226.
Free wifi is available at the Library, and temporary hot spots are available for checkout.
Prosper’s Water Supply is Safe and Reliable
The Town of Prosper wants to assure residents that the Town’s water supply is safe and reliable during the current winter storm emergency. This is because of robust back-up power sources, as well as the water stored in elevated storage tanks, or water towers. The Town has three levels of protection to preserve our ability to provide water service. Prosper’s water distribution and supply network uses electricity to move water. Both Oncor and ERCOT have assured the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) that their water systems are considered critical infrastructure, and will not be affected by rolling blackouts. However, should power be interrupted, the Prosper water system has large electric generators capable of keeping water flowing to homes and businesses for several days. Finally, the Town keeps millions of gallons of water in the three elevated storage tanks located throughout Town. That water can be released without any power at all, and will maintain water pressure in the Town for at least 24-48 hours, giving the Town time to make any necessary repairs and for power to be restored.
The Town is aware of nearby communities who are rationing their water supply. These areas have different wholesale water providers than Prosper. At this time, there is no concern about water supply for the Town, and there is no need to boil water. The current demand for water is within the average consumption for this time of year, and well within the Town’s capacity to provide water service.
For questions about the Town’s water supply or to report a water emergency in your home, please contact the Public Works Department at 972-347-9969 between 7am-3pm. Please call the after-hours emergency line at 972-832-5812 between 3pm and 7am.
WiFi Hot Spots Available for Checkout
The Library is offering a limited number of wifi hot spots for checkout to Prosper residents without internet service. Please email email@example.com to check availability.
Prevent Hazardous Conditions
- Turn your sprinkler system OFF to prevent ice on streets, sidewalks and driveways.
- Stay off the roads as much as possible. Use extreme caution if you must drive.
- Residents are cautioned against walking on frozen ponds, lakes, or swimming pools. While the surface may seem stable, ice could be very thin in places and break easily. Be safe and stay off any icy surfaces.
Public Works staff is monitoring the Town’s roads and Town staff are sanding roads on a regular basis. Please contact the Public Works Department if you notice a road that needs attention.
Non-emergency Town Offices are closed through Friday. Library and Parks and Recreation Programs have been canceled or postponed this week. Please check the Town website or Facebook pages for updates.
The Library will reopen for normal hours on Tuesday, February 23.
Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. If they must be outside for extended periods of time, ensure they have a warm, dry shelter protected from the elements. Keep food and water dishes in a warm spot so they won’t freeze. Cats and other small wildlife may seek shelter near the warm engines of parked cars, so bang on the hood to scare them away before you start the car.
- Consumers can monitor grid conditions in real time by following ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO) and/or by downloading the ERCOT mobile app available on Google Play and in the Apple Store. Learn more on the ERCOT website: http://www.ercot.com/eea_info/show/26464
- Follow CoServ blog for updates throughout the weekend: https://www.coserv.com/News/CoServ-News/coserv-prepares-for-possible-winter-emergency
- Report power outages to Oncor and monitor updates: https://www.oncor.com/SitePages/OutagesAndWeather.aspx
- Bookmark and follow the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC’s) Storm Resources page at http://puc.texas.gov/STORM/for helpful advice and features like a statewide outage restoration map.
Helpful Contact Information:
- Call 911 if you experience a medical emergency.
- Town of Prosper Public Works – Water Emergencies:
7:00 am – 3:00 pm – call 972-347-9969
3:00 pm – 7:00am – call 972-832-5812
- Coserv: 940-321-7800
- Atmos: 866-322-8667
- Oncor: 888-313-4747
For all other inquiries or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org