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Legislative Spotlight on Massive Power Failure

- Broadcasters Foundation Steps in to Help

Last week’s massive power failure that left millions of Texans shivering in cold, dark homes without running water for days has reframed the agenda for this year’s session of the Texas Legislature as residents and businesses demand action, explanations, and compensation for staggering losses.

More than 30 people are reported to have died during the storm and power failure from hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, and other related causes.

Key legislative committees have begun investigating the causes of the failure and Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed a new emergency agenda item for state lawmakers to address in the first 60 days of a session already slowed by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The topic will be among those addressed at TAB’s online 2021 Legislative Briefing Friday, Feb. 26, at 11AM.

Damage Reports Needed for More FEMA Dollars
State emergency management officials, meanwhile, are imploring Texas residents and business owners to report the damage they sustained through a special online self-reporting survey which is available in English and Spanish.

This information will be used to buttress the State of Texas’ request for federal disaster assistance for all 254 counties. To date, FEMA has approved substantial assistance for 108 counties and requested additional information on damage sustained in the remaining counties in order to expand the assistance declaration.

Storm Damage Self-Reporting Survey

Small Business Loans
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners, and renters by calling 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or applying online.

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance

Emergency Grants for Broadcast Employees
Station employees who suffered personal losses related to the disaster may apply for emergency cash grants from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. These grants are not available for damages sustained by station facilities or infrastructure.

BFoA Disaster Assistance Application

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has provided such emergency assistance to scores of Texas broadcasters who’ve lost homes and possessions to hurricanes, tornados, and other such calamities over the past several years.

The organization is sustained by contributions from groups like TAB, individual and corporate donors, and funds raised at special events such as celebrity golf tournaments typically held in conjunction with major industry events such as the NAB Show.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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