SBP’s Winter Storm Uri Rapid Response

Winter Storm Uri, and its corresponding power outages, wreaked havoc across the state of Texas and southwest Louisiana. Low-income homeowners will be the slowest population to recover because of limited access to resources. Homeowners across these areas urgently need plumbing and other repairs — broken pipes have led to damaged walls, ceilings and floors. To date, more than 120 counties in Texas, 16 counties in Oklahoma and 23 parishes in Louisiana have been approved for FEMA Individual Assistance.

SBP’s existing infrastructure has enabled us to address immediate needs caused by this unprecedented event. Our team has been rebuilding homes in Texas since 2015 following historic flooding in San Marcos, and we continue to rebuild for homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

In response to the winter storm, SBP is on-the-ground in Houston and southwest Louisiana repairing damage caused by burst pipes for those impacted by the storm, providing mucking, gutting and mold remediation services, replacing drywall, and repairing damaged pipes.

Across Texas and into Louisiana and Oklahoma, SBP is supporting winter storm recovery by sharing funding and recovery best practices with our nonprofit rebuilding partners and recovery resources with homeowners and renters.

By serving as both a practitioner and an adviser, SBP is able to scale impact.

Across Texas, southwest Louisiana and Oklahoma:

  • SBP is conducting education campaigns to help homeowners access and maximize FEMA resources. With more than 120 counties in Texas, 16 counties in Oklahoma and 23 parishes in Louisiana eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance, the agency is facing its largest ever pool of applications. SBP's resources and webinars, available in English and Spanish, help residents navigate the application process and advocate for themselves.
  • SBP established the Winter Storm Uri Fund and has begun a rolling grant program that prioritizes nonprofits serving rural, low-income and/or under-resourced populations. The fund will restore water and/or muck and gut for at least 140 homes across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma by June 30, 2021. With additional investment in the fund, we will be able to serve more families across this wide geographic region.
  • Winter Storm Uri Fund nonprofit recipients are eligible to apply for funding to support full repair of homes, as they identify uninsured homeowners unable to make repairs on their own. Through the Fund, we will repair at least 30 freeze and water damaged homes of uninsured homeowners impacted by Winter Storm Uri across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
  • The Fund will also make it possible to place 20 AmeriCorps members with partner organizations providing winter storm support across Texas and Oklahoma. By sharing AmeriCorps members, we build capacity in smaller nonprofit organizations without the additional burden of administering the program. This model allows more disaster-impacted individuals to be served more quickly across a wider geography. The grant instructions and application are here: SBP Winter Storm Recovery Grant Application.

Greater Houston Area:

  • Rapid Plumbing Repairs: The initial focus of SBP’s work in Houston will be to get water flowing in the homes of low-income residents, vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities. We have hired 6 plumbing contractors to work with SBP full time for an initial 4-week engagement. Our goal is to help at least 200 families in 6 weeks.
  • Home Repairs: As water begins to flow and a critical mass of need has been addressed, we will phase in home repairs made necessary by burst pipes.

Southwest Louisiana:

  • Rapid Plumbing Repairs: SBP has a team supporting home rebuilding from 2020's Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles and Vinton, Louisiana. The severe winter weather caused further damage in these already-vulnerable homes. Similar to our work in Houston, we are working with local plumbing contractors to address immediate needs for low-income residents, vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.

SBP’s FREE resources are available in English and Spanish and include easy to follow steps on topics such as:

  • Post-freeze clean up and plumbing guide
  • Navigating the insurance and FEMA assistance processes
  • Avoiding contractor fraud
  • DIY mold remediation

You can help those impacted by:

  • sharing our resources
  • donating to repair damaged homes for families