Hurricane Harvey has become one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit the U.S. in over a decade. The continuous rain, harsh winds, and widespread flooding have cost Texans not just their homes, but for some, their lives. The destruction caused by this storm is expected to be among the most costliest clean ups in U.S. history. In times like this, we want to be sure everyone is aware of all resources and avenues available to them to get support. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is commonly mistaken to only assist those without insurance. However FEMA can be an option even if you have flood insurance. Below, we have broken down some key information which may be useful when deciding whether to contact FEMA. You can also check out this Fact Sheet and Clarification of Insurance Processing provided by FEMA.
Who is eligible for FEMA assistance:*
- Home/primary residence owners
- Illegal immigrants with at least one US citizen living in the household
*Aid is damage based and not income based. FEMA provides assistance based on each individual's unique circumstances and unmet needs.
Who is not eligible for FEMA assistance:
- An individual who is being provided assistance through their insurance carrier
- By law, FEMA assistance cannot duplicate the assistance you receive from your insurance company, but you may receive assistance for items not covered by insurance.
- Business/commercial properties
- FEMA does not offer assistance for small business impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster
- However you can apply with the Small Business Administration (SBA)
- They offer low interest loans for business damages
- Secondary homes
- FEMA does not offer assistance for secondary homes
- Federal guidelines only allow FEMA to provide housing assistance when your primary residence is impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster.
What type of assistance is provided?
- Housing needs
- Temporary housing - a place to live for a limited period of time
- Financial assistance may be available to homeowners or renters to rent a temporary place to live.
- If no rental properties are available, a government housing unit may be provided, but as a last resort.
- Lodging Expenses Reimbursement - reimbursement for hotel expenses for homeowners or renters
- This is available for short periods of time due to inaccessibility or utility outage if not covered by insurance or any other program
- Repair - financial assistance may be available to homeowners to replace their home destroyed in the disaster that is not covered by insurance
- Other needs
- Assistance is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes expenses for:
- child care
- medical and dental
- funeral and burial
- household items, clothing, necessary educational materials
- school books, supplies, computers
- clean-up items
- disaster-caused damage to an essential vehicle
- moving and storage expenses caused by the disaster
How much assistance is provided?
- There is no set number and is completely based on each person's individual needs
- Low interest loans are also available from the Small Business Administration
- Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks
How to apply for FEMA assistance:
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov to apply for assistance online
- Information you will need:
- Social security number
- Insurance information
- Denial letter from insurance company
- Household income
- Damages sustained during disaster
- Be sure to take pictures and videos of the damage before you start to cleanup
- Contact information
- Direct deposit information so you can have easy access to the funds
Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you have any questions or need further explanation on the information we've included in this post, please contact us by phone at 281-998-2500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the above information has been provided by: