Receiving Disaster Assistance

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Following a disaster, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission coordinates efforts to provide both information and help to Texans. During a disaster this page will provide information on office openings, benefits and information about other groups offering aid. Read below for the types of help provided in past disasters.

Crisis Counseling

Crisis Hotline at Emergence Health Network in El Paso, Texas: 915-779-1800 or 877-562-6467

The tragic incident of mass violence in El Paso will impact the whole community and country at large. It is common for all involved to experience emotional distress. Feelings such as increased anxiety or depression-like symptoms are common. At risk of emotional distress are survivors, family members, friends, first responders, recovery workers, and community members.

Where can I get help?

Emergence Health Network is offering community sessions. Topics and support conducted by licensed clinicians include anxiety, grief and loss, depression, trauma, vicarious trauma and PTSD.

El Paso Support Counseling Co-op provides in-person counseling and support. Visit the Emergence Health Network webpage to find a clinic time that works for you.

Daily sessions are being offered at the following locations:

  • East Valley Clinic, 2400 Trawood Drive, Suite 301, El Paso, TX 79936
  • CHAMPS, 8500 Boeing Drive, El Paso, TX 79925
  • El Paso Psychiatric Center, 4615 Alameda Ave. El Paso, TX 79905
  • University Medical Center — West, 6600 N. Desert Blvd., El Paso, TX 79912
  • Atlantis Health Services, 6028 Surety Drive, El Paso, TX 79905

Saturday sessions offered 11 a.m.—12:30 p.m. at all locations except the Trawood office.

Visit the HHS Disaster Behavioral Health webpage for resources in English and Spanish.

Resources for Adults

Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting

Coping with Grief after Community Violence (PDF)

Resources for Children

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides the following resources:

To access these resources and others, go to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network's:

Resources for Care Providers and Administrators

Visit the HHS Providing Disaster Assistance page.

National Disaster Helpline

For people in the United States who need additional support, SAMHSA has a Disaster Distress Helpline.

To access, call 800-985-5990 or text TALKWITHUS to 66746.

Food

When a disaster strikes, HHSC will work with the federal government to make sure services such as SNAP food benefits remain available to our clients. In addition to administering Disaster SNAP, you might be able to get benefits early, have benefits replaced, buy hot foods with your Lone Star Card or have your benefits renewed automatically. In the event of an emergency lost Lone Star Cards can be replaced in a local office.

WIC can play an important role in helping families impacted by disasters get back on their feet. WIC benefits will continue to be provided during a disaster.

Healthcare

HHSC realizes a disaster can force families out of their homes, making it difficult to find health care. If a disaster strikes, HHSC and medical plans may work to:

  • Make sure you can see an out-of-network provider for emergency and non-emergency services if you evacuate.
  • Help you find a new doctor if you can't see your old doctor.
  • Make sure your service authorizations can be extended if the disaster affects your ability to get a new service authorization.
  • Reschedule your fair hearing if you miss the hearing because of the disaster.
  • Waive your CHIP co-payments for a period of time.

When a disaster strikes, you can get information from your medical plan or on this page about temporary adjustments to processes and policies HHSC implements as a result of a disaster.

Housing

Disaster Assistance Program offers housing assistance for home-owners and renters whose property has been damaged or destroyed in a federally declared disaster. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency oversees and gives this type of help.

State Hospitals and State Supported Living Centers

Each state supported living center and state hospital has extensive evacuation plans and designated shelter sites in case we need to move our residents. Should an evacuation become necessary, we will contact the family as soon as possible.

We will update this site during an evacuation to identify the evacuating facility as well as the shelter site location. If you can't reach the facility through the social worker or switchboard during an emergency, call the HSCS Emergency Operations Center 512-206-5435.