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Policyholders: Help with or without a disaster declaration

This page explains what National Flood Insurance Program policyholders need to be aware of and available options if there is or is not a Presidential Disaster Declaration after a flood event that causes flood damage to their property.

STEP ONE: File Your Flood Claim Right Away

With or without an official Presidential Disaster Declaration, you can and should file a flood claim on your flood insurance policy if you have flood damage. Getting the claim process started as soon as possible is very important.

NFIP flood insurance policyholders are encouraged to apply for FEMA disaster assistance when there is an official Presidential Disaster Declaration (check to see if there's an official declaration). See below for more information about how FEMA disaster aid may be able to help pay for some things, like temporary housing, that your flood policy does not cover. You can also visit FEMA for a complete list of disaster support services.

Your flood insurance policy is your first line of help after a flood!

How do I file my Flood Claim?

Register for Disaster Assistance

If the state requests and the President of the United States grants a Pesidential Disaster Declation for the area (check to see if there's an official declaration) your flood-insured property is located within, we urge you to register for FEMA disaster assistance to gain access to a number of important resources. FEMA can provide additional information and or assistance for losses not covered by your NFIP flood insurance policy, including temporary housing and repair assistance. To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)/1-800-462-7585 (TTY) or visit Apply for Assistance.

Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). Visit a local DRC to receive more information on state, local, federal, and voluntary agencies that may be able to assist you. Find a Disaster Recovery Center near you.

Once you are registered for disaster assistance, you may be eligible for:

Temporary Housing Assistance:

  • Money is available to rent a different place to live, or a government provided housing unit may be provided when rental resources are not available.
  • The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), at the request of the State of Texas, will activate its transitional sheltering initiative to allow eligible Ike evacuees from Texas, who cannot return to their homes, to stay in hotels or motels until it is safe for them go home. 
  • FEMA will pay for the lodging directly to hotels and motels.  A listing of participating hotels is available online at FEMA Evacuee Hotel List.

Home 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.

Home 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.

Additional Financial Assistance:

  • Money is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage, and other expenses that are authorized by law.

FEMA Resources

Flood Insurance - Filing Your Insurance Claim. If you have NFIP flood insurance, it’s important to call your agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin the claims process. For additional information:

National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System

  • FEMA’s National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS) is activated following a Presidentially declared disaster to reunite families that have become separated as a result of the disaster. Individuals and families can register online at or by phone at 1-800-588-9822, 24-hours a day, when activated.

Other Government Agency Resources

Department of Justice:  Members of the public can call the DOJ's Disaster Fraud Hotline to report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations. 

Small Business Administration:  After you register with FEMA, you may be referred to the SBA for information about a low-interest loan. The SBA is the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery assistance. The SBA has loan officers in the Disaster Recovery Centers to provide assistance in filling out your SBA application and explaining the program. Visit Small Business Administration for more information.

Department of Agriculture-Food Stamp Assistance:  You may be eligible to receive disaster flood stamp assistance through the state. Visit USDA food and nutrition service for more information about food stamps.

American Red Cross

Contact the American Red Cross (ARC) if you have immediate emergency needs for food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.

  • Call 1-866-438-4636 to speak with a Red Cross Representative.
  • Additional information on ARC activities, service delivery and guidance can be found on their website.

Links to Charitable Organizations

Aidmatrix Network
This portal is designed to make it as easy to offer financial support, product donations, or to donate your skills and time to nonprofit organizations active in disaster relief.

Network for Good
Lists many charitable organizations helping victims in the areas of long-term recovery, health, child and family services, and animal care.

Salvation Army

Habitat for Humanity or call 1-800-HABITAT

Volunteers of America or call 1-800-899-0089

Catholic Charities USA
"Need Assistance? Find your Local Agency." Enter your zip code to find your local Catholic Charities office.

Humane Society
National hotline for reporting lost pets, 1-800-HUMANE or 1-800-486-2631.
Click on "Animal Emergency Response Network" to search reports of found, rescued, and sheltered pets in the areas affected by the disaster. PetFinder

United Way Worldwide

Feeding America
"Find your Local Program" - type in your zip code to find you local food bank.

Still Need Help?

If you still have questions, try searching for answers on this site, glancing through the page titles on the left side of this page (in the navigation menu) if you're on a laptop, or using the icons at the bottom of your smart phone's screen. If you still have questions, visit Got a Problem?

Last Updated: 
08/08/2018 - 08:28