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Disaster Assistance

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Disaster Assistance

Disaster assistance is money provided to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed following a Presidential declared disaster; and whose losses are not covered by insurance. Loans may be available to businesses that have suffered an economic loss as a result of the disaster. Assistance is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Farm Services Agency (FSA), and state governments.

FEMA Disaster Assistance

The first step for those requiring assistance following a disaster is to contact FEMA and apply for assistance. FEMA assistance includes money for housing and essential expenses, such as food and clothing; and critical personal expenses, such as medication..

  • Disaster Assistance Available from FEMA

    Housing Needs

    • Temporary Housing (a place to live for a limited period of time): Money is available to rent a different place to live, or a government provided housing unit when rental properties are not available. Search for information about housing rental resources.

    • Repair: Money is available to homeowners to repair damage from the disaster to their primary residence that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary, and functional.

    • Replacement: Money is available to homeowners to replace their home destroyed in the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to help the homeowner with the cost of replacing their destroyed home.

    • Permanent Housing Construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of help occurs only in insular areas or remote locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible.

    What specific items are covered by "Housing Needs" assistance?

  • "Housing Needs" assistance is assistance from FEMA that may be used to repair any of the following:

    • Structural parts of your home (foundation, outside walls, roof).

    • Windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, cabinetry.

    • Septic or sewage system.

    • Well or other water system.

    • Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system.

    • Utilities (electrical, plumbing, and gas systems).

    • Entrance and exit ways from your home, including privately owned access roads.

    • Blocking, leveling, and anchoring of a mobile home and recon-necting or resetting its sewer, water, electrical, fuel lines, and tanks.

    Do I qualify for "Housing Needs" Assistance?

  • To receive money or help for "Housing Needs" that are the result of a disaster, all of the following must be true:

    • You have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster by the president.

    • You have filed for insurance benefits and the damage to your property is not covered by your insurance or your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your losses.

    • You or someone who lives with you is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.

    • The home in the disaster area is where you usually live and where you were living at the time of the disaster.

    • You are not able to live in your home now, you cannot get to your home due to the disaster, or your home requires repairs because of damage from the disaster.

    You may not be eligible for "Housing Needs" assistance if:

    • You have other, adequate rent-free housing that you can use (for example, rental property that is not occupied).

    • Your home that was damaged is your secondary or vacation residence.

    • Your expenses resulted only from leaving your home as a precaution and you were able to return to your home immediately after the incident.

    • You have refused assistance from your insurance provider(s).

    • Your only losses are business losses (including farm business other than the farmhouse and self-employment) or items not covered by this program.

    • The damaged home where you live is located in a designated flood hazard area and your community is not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. In this case, the flood damage to your home would not be covered, but you may qualify for rental assistance or items not covered by flood insurance, such as water wells, septic systems, medical, dental, or funeral expenses.

      Other than Housing Needs

      Money is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes:

      • Disaster-related medical and dental costs.

      • Disaster-related funeral and burial cost.

      • Clothing; household items (room furnishings, appliances); tools (specialized or protective clothing and equipment) required for your job; necessary educational materials (computers, school books, supplies).

      • Fuels for primary heat source (heating oil, gas).

      • Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, dehumidifier).

      • Disaster damaged vehicle.

      • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster (moving and storing property to avoid additional disaster damage while disaster-related repairs are being made to the home).

      • Other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.

      • Other expenses that are authorized by law.
  • Contact FEMA and Apply for Assistance

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