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Tom Green Co. Office of Emergency Management is requesting photos of storm damage

If there is enough damage to meet state disaster declaration requirements, the state of Texas can request low-interest loans be made to individuals and businesses.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Many West Texans woke up on May 22 to find their homes and vehicles were badly damaged by the hail storm that occurred on the evening of May 21. As a result, Tom Green County and the City of San Angelo's Office of Emergency Management is asking residents to send pictures of storm damage to the emergency management coordinator, Jim Evans (jim.evans@cosatx.us).

Evans, who spent the morning of May 22 driving around San Angelo to assess damages, is hoping the pictures he receives might lead to a local and then state declaration of disaster, which would allow the county to receive resources and assistance for those who need it. In order to receive that assistance, however, certain requirements must be met.

"Every fiscal year, the government sets a dollar amount per capita, ours is roughly $1.83 per person. You multiply that by the number of people in the county, and we have to have up to almost half of a million dollars in damage expenses, and there are certain qualifiers on how the damage is determined. Once we meet that, then we can declare to the state," Evans said.

As of 3:00 p.m. on May 22, Evans said he does not think there is enough evidence of damage to receive a state declaration. However, if storms persist throughout the weekend and more properties are damaged, those may be added to the current declaration consideration.

Evans also encourages everyone to take pictures of any damage to their cars or properties before cleaning it or fixing it. This ensures that your home or auto insurance has proof of destruction. 

"Document, document, document. That's the biggest thing I tell people: take pictures of your damage before you start to clean up. If you have a branch that went through a window, and then you pull that branch out and just have a broken window, then your insurance company can question it. Just document it in the original state, then clean up," he said.

More information about the status of the disaster declaration will be made available as it is released. To email pictures to Jim Evans, use jim.evans@cosatx.us.