What Happens After You Apply for Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
May 15, 2002
Release Number: 
1412-05

Poplar Bluff, MO -- The first step in applying for disaster assistance in the wake of the severe storms and tornadoes of April 24 through 28 is to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The number is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

When applying, your must first listen to a series of prompts that will route your call to the correct representative. You need to be prepared to give your Social Security number, describe your losses, provide financial information and give directions to the damaged property. This information is entered into the FEMA system. If you have questions, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) again and refer to the application number the FEMA registrar gave you. An SBA application may arrive in the mail in an applicant packet. You must fill out this form to be eligible for any further assistance.

An inspector may call to schedule an appointment to visit your property. While these inspectors are not FEMA employees, they are FEMA contractors and will have FEMA identification. You should be present for the scheduled appointment. The inspector will assess the damage, verify ownership and occupancy, and make a report. The inspectors do not determine eligibility for disaster assistance. If eligible, you will receive a housing assistance check within seven to ten days. This money may be used either for rental housing or for repairs.

If you have problems resulting from the recent tornado disaster and wish to talk to recovery specialists in person, you can visit the Disaster Recovery Centers in Ellsinore or Marble Hill. Representatives of FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to answer your questions concerning programs available under the disaster declaration.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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