FEMA Can Assist with Tornado Damage to Your Car

Release Date:
May 30, 2024

FEMA may provide assistance to help repair or replace underinsured vehicles that were damaged or destroyed by the March 14 tornadoes. Transportation Assistance is provided for vehicles with compromised safety or drivability. Cars with cosmetic damage only are not considered. This assistance is intended for one primary vehicle per household unless written justification is provided indicating more than one vehicle is essential for the household’s daily use.

Conditions of Eligibility

Applicants do not have to reside in one of the eleven designated counties or have their vehicle registered in the state of Ohio to be eligible for Transportation Assistance, however the impacted vehicle must have sustained damage within one of the declared counties during the time of the disaster. The damaged vehicle must meet several conditions:

  • Owned or leased (not a rental) by the applicant, co-applicant or household member.
  • Registered with the state at the time of the disaster.
  • Meet minimum state requirements for liability insurance. 
  • Must be an approved vehicle type, such as a car, truck, SUV or van

Ability to Appeal

If you’re currently found not eligible for Transportation Assistance, read your FEMA determination letter carefully because it will detail the documents or information needed to be reconsidered with an appeal. FEMA may ask for the following:

  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance showing coverage type, or the vehicle meets the state minimum insurance requirement.
  • Insurance settlement or denial letter indicating coverage of benefits.
  • Proof that the damage or loss was caused by the disaster – like a verifiable estimate, bill or receipt.

Applicants must submit their appeal within 60 days from the date on their determination letter. 


Additional documents may be submitted to FEMA by fax or mail, in-person at a Disaster Recovery Center or online if you have a FEMA online account. To set up a FEMA online account, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Apply Online” and follow the directions. 

  • By mail: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
  • By fax: 800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA
  • In-person: Visit any Disaster Recovery Center to submit your appeal, receive updates about your FEMA application or answers to your questions. Find a center here: fema.gov/DRC

If you have questions about how to appeal, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. 

For even more information about the disaster recovery operation in Ohio, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4777.

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