2021 Winter Storm Recovery Resources

As we all recover from the recent winter storms, the City would like to provide a quick reference to resident resources regarding recovery and important information.

Emergency Repair Permitting 

The City will begin processing online permit applications on Monday, February 22, 2021. All repairs will require a permit. (pipe leak repair, sheetrock, drywall, flooring, cabinets, etc.) There are NO fees for disaster recovery-related permits. 

Please follow this link for a step by step guide to the permitting process: Winter Storm Recovery Permitting Process Information

Debris Removal

You may have extra debris associated with your recovery efforts.  Your contractor should remove any debris related to repairs. However, if you have made your own home repairs and are in need of a heavy trash pick-up, please contact public works at 713-662-8170.

All construction debris needs to be separate from regular solid waste. Limb and branch removal schedules will be altered next week, 2/22/2021 - 2/26/2021, so that efforts can be focused on debris removal for those in need.


Watch out for Scams: Be Aware of Home Repair Scams

There are hundreds of legitimate and ethical contractors who can repair your home. Unfortunately, there are just as many scam artists looking to cheat you out of your money posing as contactors willing to repair the damages to your home. These untrustworthy workers will show up in neighborhoods impacted by natural disasters trying to scam homeowners looking to have their homes repaired.

Here are a few tips to ensure you are conducting business with a legitimate contactor.

Contractors that do not have insurance. All legitimate contractors should be insured and should be able to provide their proof of insurance.

Contractors should not ask you to sign anything prior to you hiring them. If they want you to sign an “estimate” or “authorization” before you’ve made the decision to hire the contractor, be aware. They might be trying to get you to sign an actual binding contract.

Contractors who do not write official contracts. Professional contractors have clear contracts that outline their tasks, process, the repair cost, and often they will clarify how problems will be managed. If they don’t have a contract, be aware, you are not protected when something goes wrong. Do not hire anyone who tells you a contract “won’t be necessary.”

Contractors who require cash or payment prior to starting the job. Illegitimate contractors will often ask for cash up front and then run with the money. Many homeowners have been scammed by paying in full before the work is completed. A deposit or partial payment for materials is common however, only pay it once you have a contract signed by both you and the contractor.

Contractors who significantly underbids other contractors. These contractors may have the best price, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best work. These contractors may cut corners on their work costing you more when you must have their work corrected.

Contractors who offers “special” pricing. If a contractor tells you that you’ve been “chosen” as a special demonstration project at a low price, or they tell you “only if you sign a contract today” be aware, it’s usually not the case.

Contractors who are difficult to contact. Professional contractors usually have a physical office, mailing address, phone numbers, and an email address. They should respond to your questions or concerns in a timely manner. Make sure you can verify the contractor’s business address. If they only have a P.O. box, be wary.

Take your time, research your contractor and choose someone you feel comfortable with.

Texas Disaster Impacts Self-Reporting Tool

In an effort to track the scale of this Winter 2021 Disaster at local levels, the State of Texas is collecting damage assessment data. The information collected will help officials across the state gain an understanding of damages for individuals throughout Texas during the recent winter weather.

To access the assessment tool, scan the QR Code or visit the Reporting Website.

SElf Reporting QR Code Graphic 

This report is voluntary and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency, nor does it guarantee disaster relief assistance.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Funds

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that federal emergency aid is available to individuals and businesses who sustained losses during the severe winter storm last week. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster. Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.