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FEMA Urges Disaster Assistance Applicants to Protect Their Privacy

Release date: 
October 14, 2017
Release Number: 
R2 DR 4339-PR NR 016

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –When registering with FEMA for disaster assistance, it is important to protect your personal identifying information. Survivors will be asked for personal and sensitive information such as your social security number, household annual income, and bank account numbers.

Whether registering for disaster assistance online or by phone, you are strongly recommended to call or enter your information yourself, even if you need to borrow a device or phone. Although unlikely, it is an unpleasant reality that disaster recovery efforts can bring out scam artists, price gougers and dishonest operators who try to capitalize on the misfortunes of others.

If you have any knowledge of fraud, waste or abuse, you can contact the FEMA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-323-8603. You may also send an email to


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service)

(TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters, which can cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59