WASHINGTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is raising awareness that Hurricane Harvey disaster survivors, and their friends and family, must be alert for false rumors, scams, identity theft, and fraud. Although many Americans are working hard to help their neighbors now, during chaotic times, some will always try to take advantage of the most vulnerable. 

To dispel some of the false rumors circulating on the internet and social media, FEMA created a dedicated website to address some of the most common themes. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Visit https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey-rumor-control to get the most accurate information from trusted sources.

Here is how to protect yourself, or someone you care about, from disaster fraud:

  • Federal and state workers do not ask for, or accept, money. FEMA staff will never charge applicants for disaster assistance, home inspections, or help filling out applications. Stay alert for false promises to speed up the insurance, disaster assistance, or building permit process.
  • In person, always ask to see any FEMA employee ID badges. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams may be in impacted communities providing information and assisting survivors with the registration process or their applicant files.
  • A FEMA shirt or jacket is not proof of identity. All FEMA representatives, including our contracted inspectors, will have a laminated photo ID. All National Flood Insurance Program adjusters will have a NFIP Authorized Adjuster Card with their name and the types of claims they may adjust.
  • If you are unsure or uncomfortable with anyone you encounter claiming to be an emergency management official, do not give out personal information, and contact local law enforcement.
  • If you suspect fraud, contact the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
  • More information on disaster-related fraud is available at the Texas Attorney General’s Office website at texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/disaster-scams or call -800-252-8011.
  • In Louisiana, disaster-related fraud information is available on the State Attorney General’s Office website at http://www.agjefflandry.com or contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s hotline at 1-866-720-5721.

In an effort to assist residents affected by the recent disaster in our area, certain Harris County Public Library branches will be open for emergency relief purposes.

Below is a list of library branches and the openings dates and hours.

Hours: (10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

  • Friday, September 1st
  • Saturday, September 2nd
  • Tuesday, September 5th - Saturday, September 9th 


List of branches: 

  • Administration Branch
  • Aldine Branch Library
  • Atascocita Branch Library
  • Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library
  • Crosby - Edith Fae Cook Cole Branch Library
  • Evelyn Meador Branch LibraryFairbanks Branch Library
  • Galena Park Branch Library
  • High Meadows Branch Library
  • Jacinto City Branch Library
  • Katy Branch Library
  • La Porte Branch Library
  • Maud Smith Marks Branch Library
  • North Channel Branch Library
  • Northwest Branch Library
  • Octavia Fields Branch Library
  • Parker Williams Branch Library
  • South Houston Branch Library
  • Spring Branch Memorial Branch Library
  • West University Branch Library


*Available services and allotted time frames for specific services (i.e. internet use) will be posted at each facility. Please see branch staff for questions. 

The City of Houston Emergency Information Center has prepared information and resources to help the community’s storm recovery. Regular updates can be accessed atwww.HoustonRecovers.org.
For emergencies call 911.   
For non-emergencies call HPD at 713-884-3131.


  • The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences is maintaining a list of Hurricane Harvey-related deaths. Visit their website at ifs.harriscountytx.gov to check the list.
  • To report the location of a body, call 911. Please do not attempt to move or disturb the body in any way.


  • Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. If you are unable to access the internet, call 1-800-621-3362.
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App to receive alerts from the National Weather Service, get safety and survival tips, customize your emergency checklist, and find your local shelter.


Phone:  311 or 713-837-0311
City TDD:  713-837-0215
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website:  www.houstontx.gov/311/
Smartphone App – Available at App Store & Google Play
To request information about:

  • Food assistance
  • Water safety concerns
  • Referrals to shelters
  • Heat emergencies
  • Trash pickup schedules
  • Evacuation registration
  • City curfew

To report:

  • Flood damage to your home
  • Flood hazards
  • Illegal dumping
  • Traffic signal outage
  • Potholes

The Houston Health Department urges people impacted by Harvey flooding to take steps to stay safe and healthy. Good hygiene and food safety are of utmost importance:

  • Practice good hygiene such as handwashing after any contact with floodwaters. Wash children's hands frequently, especially before meals.
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas.
  • Do not eat any food that was in contact with floodwaters.

People who experienced flooding but are now able to enter their homes safely can begin cleaning and sanitizing their homes.

  • If rain or floodwaters got into your home, take steps to prevent mold growth. First, wash surfaces with soap and warm clean water to remove dirt and debris. Next, sanitize surfaces with household bleach. Clean it with a solution of 1 cup household liquid bleach per 5 gallons of water. Remember:
  • Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
  • Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products).
  • Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.
  • Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers.

Storm debris will be collected on an ongoing basis until further notice. Please place debris at the curb separated into the following piles:

  • Leaves, logs, plants, tree branches (do not bag).
  • Construction & demolition material - carpet, drywall, furniture, lumber, mattresses
  • Appliances – dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, water heaters
  • Electronics – computers, radios, stereos, televisions, other devices with a cord.
  • Household Hazardous Waste – cleaning supplies, batteries, lawn chemical, oils, oil-based paints, stains and pesticide

Neighborhood Depositories
Neighborhood depositories will be open 7-days a week from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. until further notice.

  • North - 9003 N Main 77022
  • Northwest - 14400 Sommermeyer 77041
  • Northeast - 5565 Kirkpatrick 77028
  • Southeast - 2240 Central Street 77017
  • South - 5100 Sunbeam 77033
  • Southwest - 10785 SW Freeway 77074

No household garbage, electronics or household hazardous waste is accepted at the neighborhood depository locations. No pets are allowed on the premises.
Customers must provide the following at the Neighborhood Depository Locations*:

  • A current Texas Driver’s license or State Issued I.D.
  • A current utility bill or city property tax receipt.

*  Addresses and names on all presented documents must match and electronic records are NOT accepted. No proof of residency is required for recycling only. 
Garbage Collection Schedule
Normal collection services will resume on the schedule as follows:

  • Thurs., Aug. 31, 2017 - normal collection schedule
  • Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 – normal collection schedule  
  • Mon., Sept. 4, 2017 - no collection for Labor Day
  • Tues., Sept. 5, 2017 - Monday’s garbage will be collected
  • Wed., Sept. 6, 2017 - Tuesday’s garbage will be collected   
  • Thurs., Sept. 7, 2017 - normal garbage schedule resumes

Recycling Collection
Curbside single stream recycling collection will be suspended until further notice. Customers may bring recyclables to neighborhood depository locations or the Westpark Recycling Center located at 5900 Westpark, Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed Sept. 4 for Labor Day.
Yard, Junk, And Tree Waste Collection
Yard, junk, and tree waste collections will be suspended until further notice due to the need of extra personnel for debris collection related to disaster recovery.
For more information, visit www.HoustonSolidWaste.org or call 3-1-1.
Be cautious of those in the criminal element who are trying to feed on the misfortune of others.

Water employees hold down the fort

As the rain from Hurricane Harvey started on Saturday, and most area residents were glancing outside and thinking about a run to the grocery store, a group of 30 people were gathered at Kingwood's water station, operated by Severn Trent Environmental, planning.

They knew the water system for Kingwood is a top priority, and they hunkered down for the storm.

Today, six days later, they are finally going home for the night.

They have not been home during the interval, sleeping at the Kingwood water plants.

Acting Secretary Elaine Duke joins fellow volunteers in Rockport, Texas to clear debris following Hurricane Harvey. (DHS Official Photo/Barry Bahler)

“Today, I accompanied the Vice President and other members of the Cabinet to Rockport and Victoria, Texas, to take stock of the damage and meet with survivors of Hurricane Harvey. I continue to be inspired by the stories of heroism and compassion during this time. We met children anxious to go back to school. We met a family with a ten-week-old baby working with a faith-based group to rebuild their grandparents’ home. These Texans, who have endured so much over the past week, are determined to get their communities and lives back to normal.

“Despite historic devastation, we are beginning to see signs of modest recovery. Airports and ports are reopening. Lights are coming back on. Roads are clearing. This will be a long recovery and there is much to do. To the people of Texas: we will be with you every step of the way.”