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OVERVIEW: Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

September 18, 2017

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Sept. 7, 2017
OVERVIEW: Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
The City of Tyler activated its Emergency Operation Center (EOC) on Tuesday, Aug. 29. The EOC was utilized to coordinate local agencies' relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey evacuees.
The State of Texas designated the DFW Metroplex (Dallas, Garland, Irving and Fort Worth) as the primary point for evacuation and sheltering needs, but Tyler saw an influx of many self-evacuated people. Agencies in the East Texas area convened and decided that opening a shelter haphazardly could be a potential danger to those evacuating and chose to pool resources that would complement those in the DFW area.
At noon on Wednesday, Aug. 30, a Transition Hub opened at the Faulkner Park Police Station. From Aug. 30 to Sept. 7, the Hub saw 713 visitors. Evacuees were able to register for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance, including the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program that, if approved, covered their hotel stays for up to 30 days. In addition, evacuees were offered the option to participate in the Emergency Tracking Network (ETN) program. If they opted in, they were given an ETN wristband that gave them access to free or discounted services in the area, including free meals at the Salvation Army, clothing needs from Cornerstone and donated basic necessities (i.e. toiletries, dog food, snacks, etc.) at Colonial Hills Baptist Church.  
Though the Transition Hub is no longer active in Tyler, many online resources are available to evacuees, including FEMA assistance at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/.
The City published a webpage that centralizes information about available services for evacuees at https://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/Communications/HurricaneHarveyReliefInformation.aspx. This page will continue to be updated with relevant information for evacuees still in the area.  
The City of Tyler Transit Department is still offering free bus rides to all evacuees with ETN wristbands. Clothes are still available at Cornerstone, 200 N. Beckham Ave., for evacuees through the end of the week.

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