FEMA can help support your recovery from a major disaster.
FEMA Reforms Disaster Assistance
FEMA will soon make significant updates to the Individual Assistance program to:
- Establish new benefits to provide flexible funding directly to survivors.
- Cut red tape and expand eligibility to help more people recover faster.
- Simplify the application process to meet survivors’ individual needs.
These changes will take effect for disasters declared on or after March 22, 2024.
What Kind of Help Do You Need?
I Need Immediate Assistance
Our disaster assistance partners can provide help with immediate needs FEMA is not authorized to provide.
- Emergency Medical Assistance: Please dial 9-1-1.
- Emergency Shelter: Locate options by zip code by visiting the American Red Cross, or Salvation Army, or by texting SHELTER and your zip code (for example, “SHELTER 01234”) to 4FEMA (43362). For Spanish text REFUGIO and your zip code. (Standard text message rates apply.) You can also download the FEMA Mobile App to find open shelters.
- Immediate Needs: Check with your local emergency management officials, voluntary agencies or be calling your local 2-1-1. The FEMA Helpline (800-621-3362) may be able to provide additional referrals. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.
We also offer support for individuals with disabilities, or access and functional needs.
Are you experiencing distress or other mental health concerns related to natural or human-caused disasters? Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline.
Help for Individuals and Households
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial assistance and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disaster, who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs.
Next Steps After Applying for Assistance
You will receive notification letters from FEMA either by U.S. mail or by electronic correspondence. FEMA may contact you about needing to verify information or completing a home inspection.
Help from the U.S. Small Business Administration
FEMA works with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and renters in declared disaster areas.
These loans help cover disaster-caused damage or items to help prevent future damage. You do not need to own a business to apply for an SBA disaster loan. You may be referred to SBA after applying for FEMA disaster assistance.
Materials to Support Individual Assistance
Road to Recovery
While not all disaster survivors' path to recovery is the same, this interactive tool steps you through the typical processes and requirements to follow that can help get you the support you need after experiencing a disaster.
Get Started on the Road to Recovery
"Help After a Disaster" Brochures
Translated into more than 25 languages, the "Help After a Disaster" brochure is a tool that can be shared in your community to help people understand the types of FEMA Individual Assistance support that may be available in disaster recovery.
Individual Assistance Resource Library
This page contains information about policies, guidance, and fact sheets of FEMA’s Individual Assistance programs, including the FEMA Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide (IAPPG).