Winter Storm Cleanup
If your home or business has been damaged due to the winter storm that started on February 11th, there are two steps you need to complete.
Report storm damage to Texas Department of Emergency Management:
For more detailed instructions on how to submit the storm damage report click here.
STEP 2Request FEMA Disaster Assistance:
For more detailed instructions in completing the FEMA Assistance Request click here.
To apply over the phone, call 1-800-621-3362. The speech or hearing impaired may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.
If you have questions or need assistance completing either of the two steps listed above, please contact the City of Farmers Branch Emergency Management Specialist at 972-919-2648 starting Monday, March 1st between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm.
Additional Resources for Residents
Plumbing Permit Fees Waived Until March 15
The City of Farmers Branch has implemented an emergency Plumbing Permit Policy due to the February winter storm damage. This emergency policy waives plumbing permit fees until March 15 and allows for virtual inspections when possible.
If your home or business has broken pipes, please note the following:
- Replacement of damaged piping should be performed by a qualified licensed plumbing contractor. However, State law specifically permits a homeowner to perform plumbing work on their own homestead without being licensed. A homeowner must also obtain a permit. A maintenance worker my also perform plumbing work without a license. The worker must be directly employed by the facility and must also obtain a permit.
- The City of Farmers Branch requires that a plumbing permit be issued to perform plumbing repair work. The permit should be obtained before the work is begun. However, in emergency situations the permit may be obtained as soon as practical after repair work is completed.
- Permits are required for any plumbing pipe replacement in walls, underground or ceilings. It the pipes are normally exposed such as a supply line underneath a sink, a permit is not required.
- Permits may be obtained online through Citizen Self Service (CSS) You will need to login or register a new account. Permits may also be issued in person through the Community Services Permit Desk located at City Hall 13000 William Dodson Pkwy.
- Permit fees for frozen pipe repair and replacement will be waived until March 15 due to this unprecedented emergency.
- City of Farmers Branch Building Inspection staff will perform inspections of all permitted plumbing repair/replacement to confirm compliance with Code requirements. Due to the anticipated large volume of repairs needed photo or video confirmation of repairs will be permitted in lieu of a field inspection. Photographic evidence of completed repair work should be sent to email@example.com. After review, City Inspection Staff will notify the permit applicant of approval or if corrections are needed. Photographs should clearly show the following information:
A. Street address numbers of the property where work was performed
B. Marking or lettering on the piping installed to identify if approved for the use
C. Fittings used to connect back to existing piping system where applicable
D. Insulation of the piping where required IE if it is in an outside wall or other unconditioned space.
E. Contact telephone number of the person performing the work.
For technical questions concerning proper installation and repair of damaged piping systems, assistance with permits or general concerns regarding this issue, please leave a voicemail at 972.919.2618 and a City staff member will contact you as soon as possible.
City Database of Plumbers
The City cannot endorse or recommend plumbers, however we can share our database of registered State of Texas Master-Licensed Plumbing Companies
Tips to Avoid Fraud
- Get more than one bid. That will help you decide which offers are too high or too good to be true.
- Check references and phone numbers. Call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if a contractor has complaints.
- Don't pay up front and don’t make your final payment until the job is finished. In a disaster, contractors from outside your area can’t ask for payment before they start work.
- Avoid contractors who offer to waive your deductible or promise a rebate for it. That’s illegal under state law and your insurance company may ask for proof that you paid it.
- Never sign a contract with blank spaces.
- Report possible price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General.
Burst Water LinesIn the event of a residential water line emergency, or a break, that is causing a life-threatening risk or substantial property damage, call the Farmers Branch Public Works Emergency line at 972.919.2597.
Metrocrest Services provides assistance to Farmers Branch families, individuals, and senior adults who are coping with crisis situations, need help stabilizing their lives, or who require support to live independently. Basic services include rent and utility bill aid, financial and budgeting assistance and food. To learn more or to ask for assistance visit www.metrocrestservices.org or call 972.446.2100.
Help with Food Assistance
The USDA has approved SNAP recipient’s ability to apply for food replacement benefits for food that was lost or destroyed. Call 211 to apply.
Unemployment Due to the Winter Storm
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) as a result of the February winter storm. workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from February winter storm may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits. Applications for DUA must be submitted by March 26, 2021. TWC’s website contains more information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance (http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/disaster-unemployment-assistance).
Small Business Administration Loans for Businesses
If you have damage to your home or business that is not covered by insurance, you may qualify for low interest loans through the Small Business Administration. Go to https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ for more information and to apply online.
Property Damage: up to $2,000,000 to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed (available to businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations).
Economic Injury: only for small businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering adverse financial impacts of the disaster (with or without property loss), up to $2,000,000 for working capital to help pay obligations until normal operations resume.
Learn more at www.disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/
SBA Fact Sheet
SBA Disaster Assistance Flyer English
SBA Disaster Assistance Flyer Spanish
Small Business Administration Loans for Individuals
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest disaster loans to non-farm businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters in the counties effected by the February winter storm.
Individuals and families may be eligible for:
Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate damage and up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
Renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.
Learn more at www.disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/
File a Damage Claim with Your Insurance
Most North Texans with storm damage will have to first file a claim with their homeowners’ insurance. For questions about filing a claim with your homeowners’ insurance, call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800.252.3439.
If your home was damaged due to a broken water pipe, downed tree limbs, or other winter damage, contact your insurance company or agent to file a claim as soon as possible. These tips will help make the process go smoother:
- Make a list of damaged property. Take pictures or video of the damage. Don't throw anything away until your insurance company tells you to.
- Take steps to protect your home from further damage. Turn off the water and cover broken windows and holes in your roof if possible. Save all receipts. Your policy may cover these costs.
- Try to be there when the insurance company comes to inspect the damage. If you can’t stay in your home, leave a note with information on where you can be reached.
- Keep a list of everyone you talk to at your insurance company. Be ready to answer questions about the damage.
- Ask about living expenses. Most policies will cover some of the costs you have if you are unable to live in your home because of damage that is covered by your insurance. Keep your receipts for these costs.
- Ask about an advance payment if you need help quickly.
The Citizen Collection Center
Farmers Branch residents can deposit solid waste or bulk items at the CCC during open hours. The CCC is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday February 19 thru 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For additional information, call the Farmers Branch Sustainability Department at 972.919.2597.