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How to Register for Disaster Assistance

Release date: 
May 15, 2019
Release Number: 
R7-DR-4421 IA NR 026

DES MOINES, Iowa – Residents of Louisa and Scott counties whose homes are damaged, unsafe, or inaccessible because of recent flooding have resources available to help on the road to recovery.

They join fellow Iowans in seven counties already designated for federal assistance to individuals: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, Shelby and Woodbury. The deadline for applying for assistance is July 1, 2019.

Do you have insurance? If you have a homeowners, renters or flood insurance policy, file your insurance claim immediately and before applying for disaster assistance. Get the process started quickly. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin.

If you cannot return to your home, or if you are unable to live in your house because of disaster damage, visit or call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., CDT seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

You can also visit to determine if state, voluntary, and local organizations have resources in your community to address your immediate needs. You may also call 2-1-1 with questions or concerns about the flooding in your area.

If you can return to your house, first make sure it is safe to enter or occupy. If you are in doubt, check with local officials. If you need help with cleanup or other recovery issues, visit for leads to state, voluntary and local organization resources that may assist.

If you are in one of the counties designated for federal help to individuals, you will need the following to apply for assistance at

  • Social Security Number;
  • Daytime telephone number;
  • Current mailing address and damaged property address with zip code;
  • Insurance information, if available; and
  • Bank account type, account number and routing number.

Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, sanitary and secure.

FEMA assistance also may provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your recovery plan.

FEMA registration is quick and easy. There are multiple ways to register:

  • Online at:
  • Via FEMA’s disaster app on your smartphone. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you can go to
  • Call 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are on duty.

After registering for disaster assistance, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In times of disasters, the SBA offers low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters. There’s no obligation to accept a loan, but you may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if you don’t apply.

Information about how to apply for low-interest SBA loans for businesses and residents is available online at You may also call 800-659-2955 or email Individuals who are deaf or low-hearing may call 800-877-8339.

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 faced discrimination or needs help with accessible communication, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available.


HSEMD Mission: To lead, coordinate and support homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.

FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. Applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or low-hearing may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email or visit SBA at .

Last Updated: 
May 15, 2019 - 09:04