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7 Disaster Assistance Programs That Can Help

If you live in an area that recently declared a disaster, you can get help from the federal government. You can visit DisasterAssistance.gov to find out what kinds of help you can get, apply for assistance, and to later check the status of your application. In addition, you can also get low interest disaster loans to help you rebuild and replace homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. To get more information, go to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Disaster Assistance at: SBA.gov and click the Loans & Grants tab.

Nutrition Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. If you are already getting SNAP you may be able to get extra cash or replace some of your benefits. You may also be able to use your EBT card to buy hot meals and other foods normally not allowed. Find out what types of SNAP benefits you can get in your state by visiting the Food and Nutrition Service and click on Disaster Assistance.

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). This program provides emergency food benefits if your state is declared a disaster area by the President and is offering the assistance. To find out if D-SNAP is offered in your area, visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

Tax Relief

Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program. This program provides you with tax counseling and assistance. Special tax law provisions are available to help you if you live in certain states affected by a disaster, especially if your location is declared a major disaster area. Get the details from IRS.gov and search for disaster relief. Property Tax relief may also be available. Contact your local tax office for more information.

Shelter Assistance

Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) Program. This program helps if you cannot return to your home due to loss or damages. The program provides temporary assistance and helps pay the cost of the hotel room while you look for long-term housing. Go to the FEMA Evacuee Hotel List to find a hotel that participates in this program.

FEMA Interim Housing Resources. This service lets you enter basic information so that you can get a list of rentals in your area if you cannot get back into your home.

Energy assistance

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Disaster Relief. This program may be available in your area to help pay for your home energy needs and energy-related home repairs or installations. To find out if your state offers LIHEAP Disaster Relief and the type of help available, you should contact the agency that provides LIHEAP assistance such as your local Department of Human Services (DHS), Community Action Agency, or Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

Find additional assistance

You can also get help finding benefit programs that provide cash assistance and other help by using BenefitsCheckUp.org. By answering a few questions, you can get a list of benefit programs that can help you pay for medications, food, utilities, and more. You will have access to program guidelines, websites, online application forms (if available), paper application in various languages (if available), and other resources.

Resources (from redcross.org)

Find Open Shelters 

Staying Safe After a Disaster

Learn the steps to take during and after most disasters or emergencies to help ensure your family’s safety. Be sure to check this Emergency Resource Library to learn how to respond to specific disasters.

Immediate Steps to Take

Check Your Home’s Safety

If you have had to evacuate, take these steps to evaluate whether it is safe to enter when you are allowed to return home.

Checking Structural Elements

Checking Utility Services

Recovering Emotionally

Find out about the special care you and your loved ones may need, long after the visible signs of the disaster have faded.

About Emotional Recovery – available in multiple languages

What You May Be Feeling

Actions You Can Take

If You Still Don’t Feel Better

Recovering Financially

Get important information on how to manage the financial impact of disaster, from handling insurance claims to replacing vital documents that may have been lost.

Restore Your Financial Well-Being