Hurricane Information Resource Page

Update: February 6, 2009
Governor Perry extended the disaster proclamation for Hurricane Ike until April 5, 2009, unless renewed or terminated.
otherToday the Governor also requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide disaster relief assistance for Texas farms and ranches that have suffered losses as a result of severe drought conditions. If the request is approved, qualified farm operators in all 254 Texas counties will be eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA.

Update: January 12, 2009
FEMA has approved an extension of the Individual Assistance deadline for homeowners, renters and business owners to apply for assistance for damage and losses caused by Hurricane Ike. The new deadline is February 6, 2009.

Update: January 5, 2009
Governor Perry has extended the Hurricane Ike disaster proclamation through February 4, 2009.

Although Hurricane Ike has left the state, the Governor's disaster declarations are still active in 99 counties, which gives the Office of the Attorney General enhanced enforcement authority to pursue price gouging complaints. Under Texas law, vendors are prohibited from charging exorbitant prices for necessities such as groceries, clothing, medical supplies, lodging, repair work and fuel during and after declared disasters.

We have also set up various hotlines for Shelters and the public to use to determine if registered sex offenders are staying at their shelter facilities. In addition we are providing information to child support recipients in the affected areas whose checks may be held up because of difficulties with postal delivery. This page is provided as a resource to find information on many aspects of the recovery efforts. Please check back often for updated information. The Office of the Attorney General will update this page regularly with important information about hurricane recovery and disaster relief.

Operation Safe Shelter

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has established the Safe Shelter Hotline as a free resource for emergency evacuation shelters to help them determine whether any evacuee they are housing is registered with the state as sex offenders. The Sex Offender Registration information given is public open information as extracted from the public Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registration database. The information provided is public and may be used by anyone for any purpose.

The OAG is providing emergency evacuation shelters throughout the state a toll-free number to call as evacuees from the Texas coastline arrive at some of these shelters. The shelter may call 866/385-0333 and ask any of our law enforcement officers whether an evacuee is a registered sex offender.

Operation Safe Shelter hotline is staffed 8 AM - 5 PM. The Shelter ready to take phone calls to look up one person, or a list of persons and research whether those names and dates of birth match up with the Sex Offender Registry.

Please feel free to place the logo below on your website to help direct people to this resource page. You may copy-and-paste the code below to embed the logo along with a hyperlink to return to this page on our website.

Operation Safe Shelter logo

The State of Texas cannot guarantee the sex offender information obtained relates to the person about whom you are seeking information. Searches based on names, dates of birth and other alphanumeric identifiers are not always accurate. The only way to positively link someone to a sex offender record is through fingerprint verification.

No expressed or implied warranty or guarantee is made nor implied regarding the content, accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of the data. In no event shall the State of Texas become liable to users of the data, or any other party, for any loss or damages, consequential or otherwise, arising from the use, operation or interpretation of the data. In using this data, users further agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the State of Texas for any and all liability of any nature arising out of or resulting from the lack of accuracy or correctness of the data, or the use of the data. The user's call indicates unconditional acceptance of the information "as is" and any associated risk.

Report Fraud Involving State Resources Associated with Hurricane Ike

The State Auditor's Office (SAO) investigates allegations of misuse and/or illegal acts involving state resources. This includes funds provided by the State of Texas to aid Hurricane Ike victims.

To report fraud, waste, or abuse occurring at a Texas state agency, college, or university call the SAO Hotline at 1-800-TX-AUDIT (892-8348). Forms to report fraud, waste, or abuse are available on the SAO's Web site. Reports of fraud, waste, or abuse may also be mailed to:

State Auditor's Office
Attn: S.I.U.
P.O. Box 12067
Austin, TX 78711-2067

Persons who report fraud may choose to remain anonymous.

Be Alert To Clean-Up, Repair Services Scams

The Texas Residential Construction Commission oversees builders and remodelers. Homeowners should check for registration and complaint and disciplinary action history at www.texasrcc.org. In addition, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation regulates electricians, plumbers, air-conditioning and heating contractors, and service contract providers. Consumers can check licensing information and disciplinary action history at www.license.state.tx.us.

Consumer Protection Information

Information on Charities and Non-Profits
Brochure on Giving to Charities
Brochure on Home Improvement
Brochure on Price Gouging
Brochure on Disaster Scams
Consumer Alert: Beware of Hurricane Relief Scams

ThumbnailWhen Disaster Strikes (Packet)
English PDF
Spanish PDF

American Red Cross "Safe and Well" List

The Safe and Well List is a webpage where people can register their location/status or search for others.

Unemployment Benefits

The Texas Workforce Commission wants you to know you may be eligible for disaster-related unemployment benefits. For more information: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/ikeinfo.html

Don't Know Who to Call?

The Texas Health and Human Services has an Information Referral Network you may access by calling 211 from your phone. 211 is a good referral for almost anything health and human service related including locating a shelter.

The 2-1-1 Texas website takes the knowledge from local Area Information Centers’ databases and gives you the ability to search for information on over 6,000 Texas-wide agencies.

FEMA Registration

Texans impacted by Hurricane Ike are encouraged to register with FEMA. Register online or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) TTY 1-800-462-7585. Consumers are encouraged to register online or call during off-peak hours to avoid long telephone wait times. More than 317,000 people have registered with FEMA to date for Hurricane Ike assistance.

For a detailed FEMA update, including a list of Texas hotels that will assist consumers with temporary housing, please visit: http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=45821.

Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has distributed information regarding how to avoid snake bites, carbon monoxide poisoning, illness and injuries related to floodwater, and how to manage the stress of post-hurricane recovery.

Hotel and Motel Tax

Governor Rick Perry announced he is suspending the collection of the state and local hotel and motel taxes under the Texas Tax Code for victims of Hurricane Ike.

Power Outages and Restoration Schedule

The Texas Public Utility Commission has updated the Hurricane Ike power outage information on its Web site. Please note that information regarding telecommunication outages is also posted. Restoration schedules vary from several days to weeks.

Information from Texas Department of Insurance

Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Hurricane Ike Consumer Resource Page contains consumer assistance, and health and safety information.

Please verify that the contact information for your insurance company is correct. View the Contact Your Insurance Carrier page. If your information needs to be updated, please send an e-mail to audrey.selden@tdi.state.tx.us

TDI continues to update their Hurricane Ike Consumer Resource Page

Additional information is posted on the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

Insurance Inquiries and TDI Responses: Will TDI post the ZIP codes regarding the Hurricane Ike bulletins? Yes. The ZIP codes are posted on the Hurricane Ike Consumer Resource Page as the first bullet under the bulletins.

Lone Star Legal Aid

Lone Star Legal Aid has a Disaster Relief web site.

They address many topics for consumers "after Hurricane Ike," including:

  • Renter's rights
  • Public benefits
  • Disaster Unemployment Benefits
  • How to Replace Important Documents Lost
  • How to Enroll Your Child Back into School
  • What can FEMA do for me?
  • Homeowner Repair Frauds

Information is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Contact numbers are also provided.

Road Conditions

The Texas Department of Transportation maintains a webpage to view current road conditions by: condition, Texas county, Texas roadway. For example, you can select "Flooded" from the drop-down for Condition, and you'll see all the Texas roadways which have been closed due to flooding.


News Releases

09/24/2008: Hurricane Ike Consumer Alert: Report Price Gouging To Attorney General's Consumer Complaint Hotline

09/22/2008: Court Resumes Thursday For Brazoria County Residents With Child Support Cases

09/22/2008: Court Resumes Wednesday For Galveston County Residents With Child Support Cases

09/22/2008: Hurricane Consumer Alert: Texans Should Be Alert To Clean-up, Repair Services Scams In Wake Of Hurricane Ike

09/19/2008: Texas Attorney Generalís Office Announces Weekend Hours For Consumer Complaint Hotline And Safe Shelter Hotline

09/19/2008: Hurricane Consumer Alert: Give Wisely After Hurricane Ike

09/17/2008: Status Update: Operation Safe Shelter

09/17/2008: Hurricane Consumer Alert: Take Simple Steps To Avoid Disaster-related Scams

09/16/2008: Hurricane Consumer Alert: Evacuees Should Know Their Rights When Staying At Hotels

09/16/2008: Hurricane Consumer Alert: Report Price Gouging To Attorney General's Consumer Complaint Hotline

09/15/2008: More Than 3,300 Evacuees Checked To Date In Operation Safe Shelter

09/15/2008: Texas Attorney General Opens Child Support Hotline For Parents Affected By Hurricane Ike

09/11/2008: Alert: Attorney General Abbott Activates Operation Safe Shelter For Hurricane Ike

07/25/2008: Attorney General Abbott Surveys Storm-Damaged Areas, Warns Against Price-Gouging

07/23/2008: Attorney General Abbott Urges South Texans To Stay Safe, Report Price Gouging During Storms


Frequently Asked Questions

Will TDI work with local jurisdictions to arrange for insurance industry entrance into impacted areas before consumers are permitted to return to their homes?

A: No. Once local jurisdictions deem that it is safe to return to the impacted areas, consumers, agents, and adjusters will be permitted to enter the area. Leadership from several counties have asked consumers not to return at this time. Many jurisdictions do not have power, medical services, security, fuel, and other vital infrastructure in place. We must await instructions from the local jurisdictions regarding re-entry into several of the impacted areas.

Q: Is Texas evacuating inmates? My loved one is incarcerated, is he/she safe?

A: The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Office of the Ombudsman Coordinator, handles inquiries from the public about state and private prison issues. You can contact the Office of the Ombudsman Coordinator at:

Office of the Ombudsman Coordinator
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
901 Normal Park, Suite 208 E
Huntsville, TX 77342
(936) 437-8035
ombudsman@tdcj.state.tx.us www.tdcj.state.tx.us

Q: Can I just take donations of clothing, etc. directly to the local shelter?

A: It is not recommended because the shelter may refuse the donation for a number of reasons. Call 211 for a referral to a donation site.

Q. Did the Governor suspend the hotel tax?

A. Yes, by proclamation for 14 days, beginning September 8th.
http://governor.state.tx.us/news/proclamation/11129/

 

 

 

 

Revised: April 12 2011