HURRICANE HARVEY RESOURCES

Please consider making a donation to The Arc of Texas to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities affected by Hurricane Harvey. 

I NEED ASSISTANCE

Cleanup Assistance Hotline

Cleanup Assistance Hotline at 1-844-965-1386 (This hotline closes on Sept. 15th– Call today!)

Houston Recovers

The City of Houston has established the website www.houstonrecovers.org that houses all their information in an easy to navigate format.

Disaster Survivors with Disabilities Hotline: 1 (800) 626-4959

The Hotline (By The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and Portlight Strategies) provides referrals for disaster assistance with:

  • Disaster-related problem-solving
  • Evacuation strategies and issues
  • Shelter accessibility issues
  • Temporary housing strategies
  • Assistive devices, durable medical equipment and consumable medical supply referrals
  • Just-In-Time Disaster Response and Recovery Training- Web-Based and On-Site

Nurse Line for anyone with a health related need or concern: 866-417-1707

HOUSING/SHELTER

DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS

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Disaster Recovery Centers

FEMA opened Disaster Recovery Centers. Disaster recovery centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in 39 counties included in the Texas federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent floods. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the State and other agencies will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application. The new centers are at the following locations:

Greenspoint Mall (Harris County)
263 Greenspoint Mall
Houston TX 77060
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Katy Mills Mall (Fort Bend County)
5000 Katy Mills Circle
Katy TX 77494
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Baytown Community Center (Harris County)
2407 Market Street
Baytown TX 77520
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Disaster Recovery Center at George R. Brown Center Moves to New Address (The State of Texas/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center located in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston will transition to a new address on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.)

Netrality Building
Suites 125 & 150
1301 Fannin Street
Houston TX  77002
Hours: Opening Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., then Daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

NEW DRC opens:
Webster Civic Center
311 Pennsylvania Avenue
Webster TX 77598
Hours: Daily, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible to people with disabilities. Centers have assistive technology equipment allowing disaster survivors to use amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss, and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available and in-person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.

If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Eligible residents may register for assistance the following ways:

  • Online at gov.
  • Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
  • Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: gov/mobile-app.

The following information is helpful when registering:

  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).
  • Current mailing address.
  • Current telephone number.
  • Insurance information.
  • Total household annual income.
  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).
  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.

Disaster survivors can visit any of the centers for assistance. Locations of other recovery centers are online at www.fema.gov/DRC.

BIRTH CERTIFICATE REPLACEMENTS

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EMERGENCY GUIDANCE REGARDING FREE REPLACEMENT CERTIFIED COPIES OF BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO RESIDE IN TEXAS COUNTIES UNDER THE GOVERNOR’S DISASTER DECLARATION

GUIDANCE DATE: September 12, 2017

In accordance with section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Office of the Governor has approved DSHS’s request to suspend portions of 25 TAC 181.22, Health and Safety Code 191.0045(d) and (e), and Health and Safety Code 191.022(f) in order to allow the state to waive fees for mail-in or walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, and local registrars to waive fees for walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, for individuals from hurricane-affected counties.

Below is a list of counties that have as of September 12, 2017, been designated as affected counties.

Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Polk, Refugio, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy and Wilson counties.

This suspension is in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the Hurricane Harvey disaster declaration is lifted or expires.

Obtaining a free certified copy 

Individuals in the affected counties listed above can request one replacement certified copy of a birth certificate free of charge either by mail or in person at the Department of State Health Services main office in Austin.

To obtain a certified copy by mail, please submit the VS 142.3 – Mail Application for a Certified Copy and identification to our physical address at:

Texas Vital Statistics

Attn: – VSS – Hurricane Harvey Relief Department of State Health Services – MC 1966 1100 W. 49th Street Austin, TX 78756

NOTE: Please indicate the county of residence and write “Hurricane Harvey Relief” at the top of the application.

You can download a copy of the application at the following webpage: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/vs/reqproc/forms.shtm  

Identification of Applicant 

For a list of acceptable identification that can be used to prove identity please see the following webpage:

http://www.dshs.texas.gov/vs/reqproc/Acceptable-IDs/ 

Local Registrars 

DSHS suspension of portions of 25 TAC 181.22, Health and Safety Code 191.0045(d) and (e), and Health and Safety Code 191.022(f) and subsequent waiver of state fees allows local registrars to waive fees for walk in customers seeking a replacement certified copy of a birth certificate for the affected counties.

The Vital Statistics Section will be waiving the fee associated with the remote issuance system.  Please submit a copy of each application for certified copy that you issued free of charge when invoiced for payment and we will issue a credit on your next invoice.

If you have questions regarding remote site payment, please email field services at fieldservices@dshs.texas.gov 

Helpful Links: 

RED CROSS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR HURRICANE HARVEY

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Information from Red Cross (as of September 11, 2017):

Thanks to our generous donors, the American Red Cross will be providing financial assistance to Texas households that were severely impacted by Harvey and need help taking care of emergency needs. Right now, we are in the initial few hours of this effort and are focusing on helping people in emergency shelters. We are experiencing an exceedingly high demand, and ask that people please try again tomorrow. We plan to share additional information soon, including how to register. Registration will be open for 30 days.

In the meantime, please note that assistance will be available for those significantly affected by Hurricane Harvey which includes:

  • Primary residence was severely impacted by Harvey.
  • Household is in need of emergency assistance.
  • Household was displaced by the impact of Harvey
  • Verifiable pre-disaster primary address in one of these 39 Texas counties:

Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton.

The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency, and people do not need to be American citizens to receive our assistance.

COUNSELING/MENTAL HEALTH

Counseling/Mental Health Support

Disaster Distress Helpline by SAMHSA:  1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Emergency Preparedness and Response: Helping Children and Their Families after a Disaster
In response to the recent storms impacting children and families in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, the ECTA Center has recently updated its Disaster Planning and Trauma Response topics page (September 2017). This collection of resources was designed to assist states, educators, and practitioners to help families with children who’ve experienced trauma.

Resources to Help Children in the Aftermath of a Hurricane
http://bit.ly/2xoEkXJ The devastation caused by hurricanes can be overwhelming to anyone, but poses unique challenges for children. Compared to adults, children suffer more from exposure to disasters—including psychological, behavioral, and physical problems, as well as difficulties learning in school.

MEDICAL NEEDS

Access to Medications/Pharmacies

National Home Infusion Association allows you to search zip codes to find an alternate-site infusion provider.

Texas Pharmacy Association has a ton of information about medication prescription issues in the disaster.  (mostly geared to pharmacists, but still may be helpful information to share).

Autism Specific Information

Seeking Assistance:
If you have a family member with autism or you are an adult with autism and you have been displaced or affected by Hurricane Harvey & need assistance:
Please email Caroline@texasautismsociety.org or call our office at 512-479-4199. Thank you.

Volunteer Help:
If you would like to volunteer, please fill out this form. We will contact you as we have needs to fill. Thank you!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5S-_ibIv_6SJRutg5y2dFXC9Di86ghjCq3O-E4oAi9mZyKA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Therapy Providers & Professional Services:
If you are a therapist or want to offer a service to Hurricane Harvey victims please fill out this form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5S-_ibIv_6SJRutg5y2dFXC9Di86ghjCq3O-E4oAi9mZyKA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Dialysis Assistance

Emergency Dialysis Services, DaVita 1-800-400-8331

Sugar Land Texas Dialysis Centers, Disaster Response Team 1-800-626-1297

ESRD Network: Individuals needing kidney dialysis should be directed to call the ESRD Network. You can find contact information on their website.

Immunization Records

The Louisiana Office of Public Health Immunization Program has partnered with the State of Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac2) and the Houston Harris County Immunization Registry (HHCIR) to expedite access to Immunization records for displaced persons from Texas who may be requesting medical services or entering schools in Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey.

If you have a person from Texas who is in need of a vaccination record, please fax the Louisiana Office of Public Health Immunization Program at (504) 568-2659:

1. On your letterhead (fax), include the physician/requestors name and contact information (phone, fax, address).
2. The patient name, DOB, and their previous hometown.

The Louisiana Immunization Program will then take this information, and search both Texas registries for the record. Remember that not every person will be in the Texas registries, and that it may take several hours to locate the record. We will then fax back the record, or a notice that no record could be located.

Medical Equipment, Assistive Technology, Medications, Diapers, etc.

Communication Assistance for Harvey Survivors by United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (Allows you to request assistance and/or donate or volunteer)

Register for FEMA assistance

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Registering for FEMA Assistance (ASL) Video

Critical Needs Assistance (Some individuals are eligible for financial assistance based on their “immediate or critical needs”. See Fact sheet for criteria.)

Apply online (Be explicit that you or your loved one has a disability) or call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585

  • Answering “yes” to these questions triggers a couple of follow-up questions to get more detail and is how individuals are identified as having a disability:
  • “Disaster Related Losses”:
    • “Did you, your co-applicant, or any dependents have help or support doing things like walking, seeing, hearing, or taking care of yourself before the disaster and have you lost that help or support because of the disaster?”
  • “Disaster Related Expenses”:
    • “Have you incurred uninsured or under-insured expenses as a direct result of the disaster; do you have MEDICAL expenses as a result of the disaster; do you have DENTAL expenses as a result of the disaster; do you have FUNERAL expenses as a result of the disaster”
FEMA Rumor Control

The FEMA Rumor Control webpage addresses rumors concerning immigration enforcement activity, shelters, flood insurance, disaster clean-up, etc.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have stated that they are not conducting immigration enforcement at relief sites such as shelters or food banks.

The Red Cross will not ask people to show any form of identification in order to stay in their shelters. In order to receive some Red Cross services, such as meeting with a caseworker to facilitate disaster recovery, they will need to verify a person’s pre-disaster address. For people who don’t have government-issued identification, the Red Cross can usually do this through alternative means, such as a copy of a utility bill. 

DEAF COMMUNITY AND HURRICANE HARVEY:

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MEDICAID BENEFICIARIES:

Managed Care Hotline number: 1-800-964-2777 (if you do not know who your health plan is, you may call this number and receive information!)

Medicaid, CHIP, and Health Texas Woman (HTW) Benefits Extended for 6 Months in 29 Counties:

The benefit certification periods for clients in the 29 federally declared disaster counties are extended an additional 6 months to allow clients to receive their Medicaid, CHIP, or HTW benefits.

This applies to all to Medicaid, CHIP, and HTW renewals due in August, September, October, and November 2017.

Clients do not need to take any action to receive the 6 month extension but will receive a notice when it is time to renew their benefits.

Please encourage clients to use YourTexasBenefits.com or the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits case and to update HHS of any address changes.

Clients are also encouraged to sign up for electronic notices to stay informed about their cases.

Clients whose benefits are (were) up for renewal in:

  • August 2017 were automatically extended through February 2018.
  • September 2017 will be automatically extended through March 2018.
  • October 2017 will be automatically extended through April 2018.
  • November 2017 will be automatically extended through May 2018.

These 29 counties include:

Aransas Galveston Kleberg Refugio
Bee Goliad Liberty Sabine
Brazoria Hardin Matagorda San Jacinto
Calhoun Harris Montgomery San Patricio
Chambers Jackson Newton Victoria
Colorado Jasper Nueces Waller
Fayette Jefferson Orange Wharton.
Fort Bend
Fair Hearings

Notice to Medicaid Beneficiaries appealing reductions or denials of Medicaid-funded health services or Medicaid eligibility and who missed or will miss their Medicaid fair hearing (or need more time to prepare for their hearing) due to Harvey.

According to Texas Medicaid’s Appeals Division, any Medicaid fair hearings that have been dismissed where the appellant resides in a disaster area will be automatically reopened and rescheduled. Also, any Medicaid fair hearings scheduled within the next two weeks, for those residing in the disaster areas, and do not appear for their fair hearing will automatically be rescheduled rather than dismissed.  If you are or should be receiving continued services (or continued eligibility) pending the appeal process, those services or eligibility should remain continued until the fair hearing is held, and a decision is issued.  If an appellant needs to reschedule their fair hearing due to the disaster, or has other questions, he or she should call or email Sandra Pinales with HHSC Appeals at 512-231-5701, or Sandra.Pinales@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Delayed Implementation for Required Enrollment of All Ordering, Referring or Prescribing Providers

Background:

On July 15, 2016, Texas Medicaid announced changes to claims for payment requirements. Claims for payment must include the National Provider Identifier of the physician or other professional who ordered, referred or prescribed the items or services (Code of Federal Regulations Title 42, Section 455.440). The physician or other professional identified on the claim must be enrolled as a participating provider in Medicaid, including for claims for prescription drugs dispensed at a pharmacy (Code of Federal Regulations Title 42, Section 455.410).

On June 2, 2017, Texas Medicaid notified stakeholders that beginning Oct. 1, 2017, HHS would deny claims for items and services ordered, referred or prescribed by a provider not enrolled in Texas Medicaid for the Medicaid, Children with Special Health Care Needs Services Program and Healthy Texas Women programs.

UPDATE:

Due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey and pending decisions that may impact the implementation of the Federal Regulation, HHS is delaying the deployment of this requirement. All medical and pharmacy claims will continue to pay through calendar year 2017 regardless of the ordering, referring, or prescribing provider’s Texas Medicaid enrollment status. HHS will begin enforcing the enrollment requirement in January 2018 for Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), CSHCN Services Program and Healthy Texas Women. HHS will provide specific dates and details in the coming weeks. If possible, ordering, referring, and prescribing providers should begin the enrollment process before January by completing the application online at: http://www.tmhp.com/Pages/ProviderEnrollment/PE_TX_Medicaid_New.aspx

For more information, call the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) Contact Center at 1-800-925-9126 or the TMHP-CSHCN Services Program Contact Center at 1-800-568-2413.

Notice Regarding Sharing/Finding Information on the Location of Long-term Care Residents Evacuated as a Result of Harvey

Due to state and federal law, the extensive impact of Hurricane Harvey and the fluid nature of evacuations associated with the storm, HHS is unable to provide a state wide web resource documenting the location of all evacuated long-term care residents.

Generally, FEMA is encouraging family and friends of individuals in affected areas to check social network sites like Facebook or Twitter for information about their loved ones, or to use the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php, to let family members know they are safe, or looking for loved ones.

The Texas Health and Human Services system is asking long-term care facilities to encourage evacuated residents to consider using these same resources if they wish to share information regarding their status or location.  Use of the Safe and Well program or social network platforms will allow residents to quickly provide loved ones with needed information while also freeing up regulatory resources dedicated to other aspects of emergency response.

NOTE: Long-terms care providers should fully understand the decision to use the Safe and Well program or to post information on a social network platform is completely at the discretion of the individual receiving services.  Long-term care providers may not post information regarding an individual without the individual’s consent.

STAR PLUS Contact Numbers
Superior Molina Amerigroup
1-866-516-4501 1-866-449-6849 1-800-600-4441
United Health Care Cigna-Health Spring
1-800-349-0550 1-877-653-0327
STAR KIDS Contact Numbers
Driscoll Superior Amerigroup
Nueces: 1-844-508-4672
Hidalgo: 1-844-508-4674
1-844-433-2074 1-866-696-0710, ext. 31084
Texas Children’s United Health Care Community Plan Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
1-800-659-5764 1-877-352-7798 1-877-301-4394 (TTY 7-1-1)
Aetna Cook Children’s Community First
1-844-787-5437 1-844-843-0004 1-855-607-7827
Children’s Medical Center
1-800-947-4969
Durable Medical Equipment

As a result of Hurricane Harvey, CMS has determined it is appropriate to issue a blanket waiver to suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) where DMEPOS is lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable.  Under this waiver, the face-to-face requirement, a new physician’s order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description on the claim explaining the reason why the equipment must be replaced and are reminded to maintain documentation indicating that the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of these hurricanes.”

https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/Hurricanes.html

FOOD RESOURCES

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) offers short-term food assistance benefits to families suffering in the wake of a disaster.

Eligible households receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size.

Benefits are issued via an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at any SNAP retailer (such as grocery stores or convenience stores).

D-SNAP is not a program that is treated as an immediate/emergency response to a disaster; it is designed to help when people return to their homes and have access to electricity and grocery stores.

D-SNAP is only available for those who are not currently receiving SNAP benefits.

At this time, we do not know when D-SNAP will be approved or when it will be available in the counties that have received federal disaster declaration.

Receive a replacement EBT card?

If you get SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and need a replacement EBT card due to the card being lost or destroyed, you can get a new card two ways.

If you do not have access to mail, you can get a new card at a local office. You can call 2-1-1 and select Option 2 to find the closest local office to you.

If you have access to mail, you can call the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328) and a new card will be mailed to you.

LEGAL SERVICES

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Probono Legal Assistance

EMPLOYMENT

SCHOOL

Education Hotline Available for Parents in Hurricane Damaged Areas *(512) 463-9603*

Texas Education Agency (TEA) has established a telephone hotline for parents in the Beaumont, Houston, Corpus Christi and Victoria areas to receive information regarding public education for students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Parents can get information on public education options for their student. The hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, including weekends.

Facilities in several school districts in Southeast Texas were heavily damaged by flood waters and may not be in operation for some time.  Many families have been displaced.  The hotline is designed to assist families with their questions about where to enroll their children.

School Closures as of 9/6/2017
  • Region 2
    • Port Aransas- closed until further notice, perhaps 4-6 weeks
    • Aransas Pass- closed until further notice, perhaps 4-5 weeks
    • Aransas County (Rockport)- closed until further notice, perhaps 4-8 weeks
    • Ingleside- closed until further notice, perhaps 3-4 weeks
    • Taft-closed, they will try and start classes in 2 weeks or sooner
  • School Start Date
    • Unknown at this time due to extensive damages and no utilities (05%)
      • Refugio ISD
      • Woodsboro ISD
    • Monday, September 18th (05%)
      • Austwell-Tivoli ISD
      • Bloomington ISD

HOUSTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT (HISD)

  • HISD students will receive 3 free meals every school day for the rest of the school year.  People should register with FEMA.

Special Education/504 Guidance and Assistance from Disability Rights Texas and Texans for Special Ed Reform

Special Education Information for Families Affected by Hurricane Harvey

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE HARVEY:

www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency

To find the nearest open Social Security office outside of the affected areas, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or go to www.socialsecurity.gov/locator.

General Resources and Assistance Information

I WANT TO HELP

DONATE TO The Arc of Texas

OTHER WAYS TO HELP

  • Have an Airbnb? Make it available to those in need, for free.
  • The Rent Cafe Hurricane Harvey Disaster Response Page (Property managers who have available units for rent – both apartments and houses – can add them on the platform so that displaced residents may easily find a temporary or permanent place to call home. There is no charge for housing providers to list their properties on the website or for prospective renters to use it.)
  • Mental health and health professionals can assist through the Red Cross here.
  • Portlight (operates the Disaster Survivors with Disabilities Hotline, and are providing technical assistance and guidance to prevent disaster survivors from being turned away from shelters, denied sign language interpreters, denied their civil rights, inappropriate institutionalization and experiencing many of the same issues as in past disasters.)
  • Food Donation & Volunteer Infographic
DONATE

All proceeds will go to local Arc chapters and will be used to assist and address the needs of individuals and families facing shelter, medical and other basic needs.  We are worried about our friends, family members, community partners, co-workers and everyone impacted by this storm.  As hard as this situation is for so many, we are inspired by the love and support shown by the disability community.

To The Arc Families –  If you and your loves ones are affected by Hurricane Harvey, the following list of resources are made available.  Please reach out to us with any unmet needs you or your loved ones are experiencing.

CONTACT US

You may call or email Ginger Mayeaux at gmayeaux@thearcoftexas.org or 1-800-252-9729 for questions and concerns about the website or any needs not addressed on this site. We are here to help you!

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