The San Angelo-Tom Green County Emergency Management Office is gathering information about storm damage as it seeks to have Thursday’s thunderstorms declared a local disaster.

Send photos of storm damage, along with a home address, to jim.evans@cosatx.us. This will help in determining the scope of damage at specific locations, a press release from the City of San Angelo said.

Once a local disaster is declared, the State of Texas can, on behalf of San Angelo and Tom Green County, request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that low-interest loans be made to individuals and businesses to assist with paying the non-insured portion of repairs that have been completed. FEMA does not pay directly to service providers.

To qualify for the loans, the repairs must be completed, and there must be photographic documentation of the damage, three estimates of repairs, and receipts for all work done. Loans will not be given for work that is not completed.

Those who have suffered storm damage are urged to document every step of the repair process.

The Texas Department of Insurance offers these tips to homeowners to protect themselves from contractor scams:

  • Get written estimates on company letterhead with clear contact info.
  • Get more than one bid to determine which offers are legitimate, too high or too good to be true.
  • Use local companies after checking references and phone numbers.
  • Don’t pay up front. Good contractors typically require a partial payment up front and final payment once the job is done.