May was a tough month for many East Texans because Mother Nature released her fury on towns such as Van, Henderson, Jacksonville and others.

East Texas was hit with tornadoes, strong straight line winds, hail and flood water. Residents of these towns who experienced severe weather are still cleaning up and even picking up things that they have no idea what they are or who they belong to.

Residents of these affected areas are being offered disaster aid assistance from FEMA so they can begin repairs and get life to something more normal. They may also receive additional assistance from the SBA, Small Business Administration.

Van Zandt County was in the original declaration but now Angelina, Cass, Cherokee, Harrison, Henderson, Nacogdoches and Rusk counties here in East Texas have been added to the disaster aid list, along with many other counties.

Residents off these counties may apply for FEMA Public Assistance reimbursement for repairs to their private facilities as well as public works, too.

If you live in one of these counties and sustained damage to your home, vehicle, property or personal business you may apply for disaster assistance online at or by phone at 1-800-621-3362.

Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and more. The Small Business Administration may also be able to help out because they can offer you low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and business owners of all sizes.

A question FEMA often gets is, "If I've got insurance already, can I qualify?" The answer to that is yes. You should apply for assistance soon because some expenses may pop up after you've reached a settlement with your insurance company.

If you have experienced some weather related damage to your home from the storms of last month you should reach out to FEMA to see if they are able to assist you in any way. Contact them by phone at 1-800-621-3362, online at or visit an operating field office in Van.

The FEMA website also has more information on how you may receive assistance along with some great starting points to get life back to normal.