FEMA Disaster Assistance can help support your recovery from a major disaster. If you're ready to apply now for disaster assistance or would like more information on the types of assistance available please visit disasterassistance.gov. Not sure if you are in an area declared for disaster assistance? Visit disasterassistance.gov and enter your address to find out if your area is declared for Individual 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: Contact your local emergency management agency for help or referral to trusted disaster assistance partners serving your area. The FEMA Helpline (1-800-621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585) may be able to provide additional referrals.
We also offer support for individuals with disabilities, or access and functional needs.
- Type of Assistance FEMA Provides
Home/Primary Residence: We provide housing assistance to individuals and families who have lost their homes as a result of a presidentially-declared disaster. If you are a renter or homeowner you may qualify for assistance. By law, FEMA assistance cannot duplicate the assistance you receive from your insurance company, but you may receive assistance for items not covered by insurance. If your home was impacted by a major disaster we recommend that you apply for assistance.
Secondary Home: We do not offer assistance for your secondary home. Federal guidelines only allow us to provide housing assistance when your primary residence is impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster.
Business: We do not offer assistance for small businesses impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster. However, we do partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers low interest loans for business damages. Learn more about the business loan application process.
Other Needs Assistance: We offer disaster assistance for some of your other disaster-caused expenses including, medical and dental, child care, funeral and burial, essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle, and some clean-up items.
- Housing Options
Rental Assistance: Offers temporary financial help so disaster survivors have somewhere to live while they make plans for permanent housing.
Who may be eligible? A homeowner or renter whose primary residence is determined to be uninhabitable after a FEMA inspection, who has housing needs not covered by insurance and who needs to relocate while repairs are under way.
Transitional Sheltering Assistance: Pays room and tax costs at participating hotels for disaster survivors.
Who may be eligible? A survivor whose primary home is uninhabitable or inaccessible due to the disaster and who has housing needs not covered by insurance. Survivors do not need to wait for a FEMA housing inspection to be considered eligible.
Home Repairs: Helps disaster survivors make basic repairs so that their homes are safe, sanitary and functional.
Who may be eligible? A homeowner whose primary residence is determined to be uninhabitable after a FEMA inspection and who has a housing need not covered by insurance.
Direct Temporary Housing: Provides temporary travel trailers or manufactured housing units to eligible survivors
Who may be eligible? Trailers and manufactured housing units are a temporary solution for survivors whose primary home is uninhabitable, have uninsured housing needs and have no other practical temporary housing options available within a reasonable commuting distance from their primary residence. Renters whose pre-disaster rental is determined to have major damage or is destroyed may also be eligible.
- Other Needs
Assistance is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes:
- Disaster-caused child care expenses.
- Disaster-caused medical and dental expenses.
- Disaster-caused funeral and burial expenses.
- Disaster-caused damages to essential household items (room furnishings, appliances); clothing; tools (specialized or protective clothing and equipment) required for your job; necessary educational materials (computers, school books, supplies).
- Fuel for the primary heat source (heating oil, gas).
- Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, dehumidifier).
- Disaster-caused damage to an essential vehicle.
- Moving and storage expenses caused by the disaster (moving and storage of personal property while repairs are being made to the primary residence, and returning property to the primary address).
- Other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.
- Other expenses that are authorized by law.
- What If I Have Insurance?
You will have up to 12 months from the date you registered with FEMA to submit insurance information for review. We cannot provide money to individuals or households for losses already covered by insurance, but you do not need to wait to apply for FEMA assistance.
If you have not already contacted your insurance agent to file a claim, please do this as soon as possible. Failure to file a claim with your insurance company may affect your eligibility for assistance. After filing a claim, if any of the following situations occur, we may be able to provide some assistance:
- Your insurance settlement is delayed. Delayed means a decision on your insurance settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed the claim. If a decision on your insurance settlement has been delayed, you will need to write a letter to FEMA explaining the circumstance. You should include documentation from the insurance company proving that you filed the claim. If you filed your claim over the telephone, you should include the claim number, the date when you applied, and the estimated time it will take to receive your settlement. Any help awarded to you by FEMA would be considered an advance and must be repaid to FEMA once an insurance settlement is received.
- Your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your disaster-caused needs. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance and still have an unmet disaster-caused need, you will need to write a letter to FEMA indicating your unmet need. You will also need to send in the claim settlement documentation from your insurance company for review.
- You have exhausted the Additional Living Expenses provided by your insurance company. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance for Additional Living Expenses (Loss of Use) and still need help with your disaster-caused temporary housing need, write a letter to FEMA indicating why you continue to have a temporary housing need. You will also need to provide documentation to prove use of Additional Living Expenses from insurance, and a permanent housing plan.
- You are unable to locate rental resources in your area. The FEMA Helpline (1-800-621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585) can provide you online resources so you can search for a rental unit.
- What Happens During The Home Inspection?
After you have completed an application for assistance, an inspector from FEMA will need to visit your home to check disaster caused damages. If you need accommodation such as a sign-language interpreter, contact the FEMA Helpline (1-800-621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585) to request services during your inspection.
First, it’s important to ask inspectors for their FEMA identification so you protect yourself from scammers. Inspectors are contractors, not FEMA employees, but they will carry FEMA ID and they have passed a background check. Never give them credit card or bank account information -- there is no fee charged for inspections and they do not collect this data.
The on-site home inspection generally takes anywhere from 10-40 minutes. A home inspection is needed to verify and assess the damages listed in your application. Inspectors will record damages, but do not make decisions on your assistance. Inspections will examine structural damage to your home, but are not designed to capture every detail of damage. The inspector may take some photos of your home to document damages. They will also assess damage to necessary items such as the furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, and your utilities. Inspectors also gather information about other needs, such as lost or destroyed clothing, and damaged children's items. You should identify all known damage and tell the inspector if you have a septic system or well. The inspector will not enter areas that are potentially unsafe.
When the inspector visits your home, someone 18 years of age or older who lived in the household prior to the disaster must be present. The inspector will ask to see:
- Photo identification.
- Proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence. (Visit our page on ownership and occupancy proof requirements for more information.)
- Insurance documents: home and/or auto (structural insurance/auto declaration sheet).
- List of household occupants living in residence at time of disaster.
- All disaster-caused damages to both real and personal property.