emergency responders in Hurricane Harvey U.S Border Patrol riverine agents launch an air boat in a Houston, Texas suburb as they evacuate residents in the flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. (Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

Hurricane Assistance Program Launched for People Who Might Need Extra Help

A program has been launched in Texas so that those who may need extra help in the event of an emergency or natural disaster — for example, because of disabilities or communication barriers — can register for assistance.

The STEAR program (State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry) has been designed to provide local emergency planners and responders with additional information on the needs in their community.

Organizers are encouraging those with additional needs to sign up now in advance of hurricane season in the state. The program suggests registrants can include:

  • People with disabilities
  • People who have limited mobility
  • People who have communication barriers
  • People who require additional medical assistance during an emergency event
  • People who require transportation assistance
  • People who require personal care assistance

Registrants will be asked for their name, address, phone number and primary language, and may be asked for details of disabilities, communication barriers or transportation needs. Registration is completely voluntary and personal details will be kept confidential, but emergency managers hope that the program will help them to assist those who need it most when hurricane season starts. Last year’s hurricane season was one of the most devastating in years, with Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas last August, affecting almost 13 million people, damaging or destroying 135,000 homes and claiming 93 lives.

To register, either visit https://STEAR.dps.texas.gov or dial 2-1-1 or use your video telephone relay option of choice to contact 211 at 877-541-7905.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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