FEMA Program Aids Disaster Survivors with Critical Needs Assistance

Release Date Release Number
DR-4698-AR NR-006
Release Date:
April 6, 2023

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Individuals and households who have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling by the recent tornadoes on March 31 in Arkansas may be eligible for a special FEMA financial assistance program.

Lifesaving and life-sustaining items are covered by the Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) program. This includes, but is not limited to, water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items, and fuel for transportation.

CNA is a one-time $700 payment per eligible household. The State of Arkansas requested that FEMA authorize CNA for specific geographic areas that are expected to be inaccessible for seven days or longer. To be eligible for CNA Applicants must register with FEMA no later than April 15.

Individuals and households may be eligible for CNA if the following criteria have been met:

  • The applicant registers with FEMA by April 15.
  • The applicant passes identity and occupancy verification.
  • At registration, the applicant is displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster based on their current location recorded in NEMIS or states they have critical needs and requests financial assistance for those needs and expenses.
  • Their pre-disaster primary residence is in a designated county, which currently includes Cross, Lonoke or Pulaski counties.

Applicants who apply on or before April 15 and resolve all issues impacting eligibility prior to the end of the FEMA registration period and any approved extensions may receive CNA. Applicants who resolve ineligibility issues after the close of the FEMA registration period will not receive a CNA payment. The registration period for FEMA registrations is currently open through June 1, 2023.

Arkansans are encouraged to apply for FEMA disaster assistance. The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.

 For the latest information visit fema.gov/disaster/4698. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/.

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