After an Emergency (Recover)

General Information

A disaster's long-term recovery phase places severe financial strains on local / state governments. Damages to public facilities and infrastructure, which are often uninsured, overwhelm even large cities. Depending on the amount of homes that sustain major damage or are destroyed, assistance may also be requested for homeowners and renters to help address uninsured losses. 

A governor's request for an emergency or major disaster declaration could mean an infusion of federal funds, however, the governor must also commit significant state funds and resources for recovery efforts.

Types of Disaster Aid

Disaster aid for individuals generally falls into the following categories:
  • Disaster grants - Disaster grants are available to help meet other serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance and other aid programs. These may include replacement of personal property, transportation, and medical, dental, and funeral expenses.
  • Disaster housing - This program may be available for up to 18 months, using local resources, for displaced persons whose residences were heavily damaged or destroyed. Funding also can be provided for housing repairs and replacement of damaged items to make homes habitable.
  • Low-interest disaster loans - Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S Small Business Administration are available after a disaster for homeowners and renters and cover uninsured property losses. Loans may be for repair or replacement of homes, automobiles, clothing, or other damaged personal property. Business loans are available for property loss and economic injury.
  • Other disaster aid programs - These programs include crisis counseling, disaster-related unemployment assistance, legal aid, and assistance with income tax, and Social Security and veteran's benefits. Other state or local help may also be available.

If you have insurance, contact your insurance agent to file a claim.

  • Make sure to document all your damages – before you clean up, take photos and make a list.
  • Save all your receipts for post-damage repair and clean up.
  • If you have insurance and damages, you must file a claim with your insurance company.