By Jarrod Heil
How to Get Emergency Disaster Assistance After a Hurricane
Finding the right hurricane assistance programs and nonprofits to help in your greatest time of need can be difficult after a storm.
Fortunately, there are many emergency disaster assistance programs and nonprofits out there that just want to help you get back on your feet — and back into your home.
If your home or personal belongings have been stricken by a natural disaster and the damages aren’t covered under your homeowners, renters or condo insurance policy, the following resources are available to help in your recovery process:
1. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Perhaps the most well-known government assistance program out there, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was initially created in 1979 to coordinate the response to disasters in the U.S. It’s been providing disaster relief for people before, during and after hurricanes and other disasters since.
Although FEMA hurricane assistance is the most common program people know about, it has an expansive number of resources and federal disaster relief and disaster assistance programs to help people who have been affected by many natural disasters.
This includes on-the-ground support for events like floods and wildfires, which can help you find a place to stay if your home is uninhabitable, provide you with up-to-date information about storms and help out financially if you qualify.
If you’re wondering what assistance FEMA provides after a disaster, the government assistance programs offered by FEMA extend to emergency shelters, transitional shelters for evacuees, short- and long-term financial benefits and much more.
2. Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP)
DAIP is similar to FEMA in the way they provide government assistance for disasters. It’s unique because it finds hurricane assistance that fits people’s needs instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution. It can help you get assistance paying for food, finding a hotel or a new place to live. It also helps to find people reimbursement money for lost wages, medical or legal assistance as a result of a disaster.
It offers more than 70 forms of assistance from 17 federal agencies, including FEMA. It can also help you find grants or loans if you aren’t covered by insurance. With its informative materials, the government assistance program can also help you prepare for incoming disasters.
3. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service provides federal tax relief to those who qualify. Some of the help you could receive is being able to claim disaster-related losses or damages and an extended filing period. Visit tax-relief-in-disaster-situationsto find out more.
4. U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
In the case of a natural disaster, the DOL’s Disaster Unemployment Assistance act can help provide financial emergency assistance to anyone whose employment or self-employment has been disrupted. This program is extremely helpful to those people who own their own business, work as a contractor or simply have a job with wages that are affected by hurricanes and natural disasters.
To find out more, visit www.workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/disaster.asp.
5. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Initially launched in 1953, the SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses through an extensive network of partnerships. Some of those same partnerships allow the SBA to provide low-interest, long-term loans in a timely manner as a part of its Disaster Loan Program.
This helps small businesses get back on their feet, rebuild and restock after a disaster strikes. Many businesses in the United States that close their doors due to hurricane damage never reopen them. The SBA can help your business from becoming part of the statistic.
6. American Red Cross
Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross provides an extensive library of emergency resources for disaster relief, preparedness and emergency assistance. The humanitarian organization also helps you notify loved ones that you’re OK, evaluates the safety of returning to a home that was stricken by the storm and recover emotionally and financially.
If you’ve suffered hurricane damage to your home or need to evacuate your residence, this list of emergency assistance programs and federal disaster relief options will help you out.