Note: As every FEMA website and web page notes, if this is an absolute emergency, please dial 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.
As an agency within Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created to respond to disastrous situations. Specifically, FEMA deals with situations in which state and local officials may be unable to appropriately respond to the situation or after a presidentially declared state of emergency has been declared. If you or someone you know requires assistance from FEMA, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, here are some helpful tips:
When an individual registers for FEMA assistance, either online or by phone, the following will be required to complete the application:
By law, FEMA cannot duplicate any assistance that your insurance agency may provide. However, you may receive assistance for lost items not covered by insurance. Because of federal guidelines, FEMA is only allowed to provide assistance for your primary residence, not secondary homes. However, disaster assistance is provided for other disaster caused expenses, including medical and dental, childcare, funeral and burial expenses, essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle, and other cleanup items.
After filling out the FEMA application, some may be required to fill out a Small Business Administration application before one’s eligibility for assistance can be determined. The next step will be that FEMA will conduct a home inspection within ten days of receiving your application. In the event of a catastrophic disaster, inspectors may take longer to contact you. If an individual qualifies for assistance FEMA will either give you a direct deposit into your bank account and a letter describing how the money should be used. If an individual does not qualify, FEMA will send a letter explaining their reasoning and the individual will have an opportunity to re-apply.