FEMA can help support your recovery from a major disaster.
Expanded Assistance for Disaster Survivors
FEMA recently changed the Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide to create additional flexibilities that ensure access to assistance is equitably provided to all survivors. The policy changes apply to disasters declared on or after August 23, 2021.
What Kind of Help Do You Need?
I Need Immediate 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. The FEMA Helpline (800-621-3362) may be able to provide additional referrals. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.
We also offer support for individuals with disabilities, or access and functional needs.
Are you experiencing distress or other mental health concerns related to natural or human-caused disasters? Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline.
Help for Individuals and Households
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disaster, who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs.
Next Steps After Applying for Assistance
You will receive notification letters from FEMA either by U.S. mail or by electronic correspondence. You may need to verify your identity or complete a home inspection.
Help for Small Businesses
You may receive a phone call to advise you of ways to apply for the Small Business Administration (SBA). If referred to the SBA, a loan application must be completed and returned in order to be considered for a loan, as well as for certain types of FEMA assistance.
Materials to Support Individual Assistance
"Help After a Disaster" Brochures
Translated into 27 languages, the "Help After a Disaster" brochure is a tool that can be shared in your community to help people understand the types of FEMA Individual Assistance support that may be available in disaster recovery.
Policy, Guidance and Fact Sheets
This page contains information about policies, guidance, and fact sheets of the FEMA Individual Assistance Program, including the FEMA Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide (IAPPG).