Disaster Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

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Release date: 
April 8, 2003
Release Number: 
1458-05

Q: My home was badly damaged in the February flooding. What kind of help is available?

A: You may be eligible for assistance through the FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP). This program provides assistance for temporary housing, home repairs and other major disaster-related expenses to help you get on the road to recovery.

Q: How do I apply?

A: The first thing you should do is call the FEMA teleregistration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Have the following information available: your name, address and home telephone number. If you're not staying at home right now, you also need to provide the address and telephone number of where you can be reached. After you register, a FEMA representative or inspector will make an appointment to look at the damage to your property.

Q: What if I already made repairs to my property and the damage no longer is noticeable? Should I still apply?

A: Yes. Gather up receipts, photos, cancelled checks and any other documents that show repairs were made to your property as a result of the disaster. Present these to the FEMA inspector when he or she visits your property. You may be reimbursed for your expenses.

Q: How much of my losses will be covered?

A: FEMA grants probably will not cover all the losses you experienced in the flood, but will help to get your home back to a safe, livable condition. Your own insurance and a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may help you further.

Q: What does the program cover specifically?

A: Here are the types of aid available:

  • Temporary housing. This temporary assistance includes money to rent a different place to live, or a housing unit provided by the government when no rentals are available.


  • Repair money for homeowners to fix damage not covered by insurance. The goal is to make your home safe, sanitary and functional.


  • Replacement assistance, a limited amount of money to replace a disaster-damaged home.


  • Finally, other needs assistance. This aid provides for such necessary expenses as medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, and moving and storage.


Q: What if I am a business owner?

A: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses and individuals for physical damage and economic losses. You can apply by calling the FEMA teleregistration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

Q: What if I'm a renter?

A: FEMA provides aid to both renters and homeowners.

Q: I'm on Social Security. Will it disqualify me from assistance?

A: Social Security and other similar types of government benefits do not affect your eligibility.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: FEMA has established Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) for disaster victims to meet face-to-face with representatives of federal, state and voluntary agencies. The following centers are open 8a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week:

Virginia Department of Forestry
(behind the Shanghai Restaurant)
210 Riverland Drive
Salem, Virginia

Buchanan County Courthouse
Route 460
Grundy, Virginia

These centers will remain open for as long as there is a need. Additional DRCs will be opened as needed.

Q: If there some kind of book that will explain the program in detail and help me keep records?

A: FEMA has a guidebook called Help After a Disaster. You will...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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