HURRICANE HARVEY UPDATE: For more information about the impact on VA facilities and services, click here.
During a natural disaster, VA’s first priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of the Veterans we serve. Despite the widespread devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey and the ongoing crisis in the Houston area, VA continues to deliver benefits and services in affected communities.
Here are some updates regarding VA operations in Texas and the benefits that may apply:
Health & Medical
If you’re in immediate danger or require medical assistance immediately, please call 9-1-1. The Veterans Crisis Line is operational and available if you or a family member is having a difficult time dealing with the disaster emotionally.
The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center continues to care for almost 400 patients.
With the extensive flooding in the Houston area, local food supplies are limited. VA Houston leadership, Veterans Canteen Services, logistics staff, and partner U.S. Foods developed a plan to resupply the facility with perishable and non-perishable foods. After initially being turned back because of impassable roads, seven tractor trailers of food arrived late last night at the facility where staff welcomed the drivers and got to work unloading the food and supplies.
Vet Centers around the area are currently closed, except for Corpus Christi:
- Corpus Christi – OPEN as of Tuesday
- Houston Southwest – Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
- Houston West – Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
- Harris County/Spring – Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
- Beaumont – Closed Tuesday
- New Orleans – Closed Tuesday
Call the centers directly at 1-877-WAR-VETS for 24 hour assistance. In addition, the McAllen VA Mobile Vet Center is in Corpus Christi to offer counseling services to Veterans and the community affected by Hurricane Harvey. You can find the Mobile Vet Center this Tuesday-Thursday at the Corpus Christi VA Specialty Clinic, 205 S. Enterprise Parkway, Aug. 29- Aug. 31 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., though times may adjust.
VA has also activated the Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan in response to Hurricane Harvey. Eligible Veterans in the affected areas with a VA ID Card needing an emergency supply of medications will be able to go to any CVS or HEB pharmacy with a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle to receive a 14-day supply. Veterans needing assistance in the affected areas can also call the Heritage Health Solutions Veterans Help line at 1-866 265-0124 to speak to a representative.”
If the school you attend is closed due to the storm, VA will still consider your attendance active and continuous. This means your payment will not be affected, so long as your enrollment was submitted prior to this incident. If you are using the Montgomery G.I. Bill, you should continue to verify your attendance as usual, even if your school is temporarily closed.
Please contact our Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits.
Home Loans and Property
If your property is impacted, contact your insurance company as soon as possible and file a claim for damage or loss. Be wary of making hasty settlements on insurance claims until a full and professional assessment of structural damage can be obtained.
For updates for the following VA facilities visit the websites below:
- Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center – Houston, Texas
- VA Texas Valley Coastal Blend Health Care System
- South Texas Veterans Health Care System
- Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System
For more on the federal government’s response, visit https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-harvey. To stay up-to-date on VA operations in response to Hurricane Harvey, keep checking the blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.