FACT CHECK: Is FEMA Paying For Hotel Rooms In Texas?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A Facebook post claims the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is “paying for hotel rooms” in Texas and gives a phone number people can allegedly call to arrange their accommodations.

Verdict: False

FEMA is not paying for hotel rooms for people affected by the winter storm in Texas. The organization said the post was a “scam.”

Fact Check:

A winter storm sweeping across the southern U.S. has left millions of Texans without electricity amid frigid conditions, killing at least 24, according to CBS News. Biden declared an emergency in Texas on Feb. 14 and directed FEMA to help coordinate disaster relief efforts in the state.

Now a viral Facebook post is claiming that as part of relief efforts, FEMA is paying for hotel rooms for those affected by the storm. The post includes a phone number people can allegedly call to set up their free hotel room.

The post, however, appears to be a hoax. “That posting saying that FEMA is here to help with housing assistance is false,” said a FEMA spokesperson, in an email to Check Your Fact. “It is NOT FEMA.”

A tweet from FEMA’s verified Region 6 Twitter account also refuted the post’s claim. Region 6 includes Texas, according to FEMA’s website.

“There is a false phone number being shared with a message about FEMA paying for hotels for Texas Disaster Relief,” reads the tweet. “This is a scam.” (RELATED: Is FEMA Offering Americans $1,000 In Coronavirus Relief?)

FEMA region 6 further tweeted that it was providing “generators and fuel to support critical sites like hospitals and water facilities,” as well as “729,000 liters of water” and “more than 50,000 cotton blankets.”

Further, there is no indication that the phone number shared in the Facebook post is being used by FEMA to coordinate hotel stays. The phone number actually connects callers to FEMA’s “internet technical help desk,” which is there to assist with “any online system or problem,” according to an automated message heard when the number is called.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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