FEMA Recovery Tips
- Contact local Office of Emergency Management to report damage (if you’ve not already done this) – see chart below
- Register with 2-1-1
- Keep ALL expense receipts related to the disaster, especially for expenditures paid with FEMA funds.
- Take photos of the damage prior to tearing out any household materials
- Take photos after tear-out (see Quick Tips for Cleaning Up After a Flood)
- Make contact with your insurance company (if applicable)
- Apply to FEMA for assistance
- Call 1.800.621.FEMA or TTY 1.800.462.7585, or go online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Operators are available daily from 7 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Central time (6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mountain).
- Applications may also be made in person at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) when they are opened. Locations will be publicized through local media channels. Affected households are urged to register online in advance of visiting a DRC.
- If you are insured, you will be denied upon initial application. Once you have settled insurance claims and have the result of the claims in writing from your insurance company you can appeal the initial FEMA decision.
- Instructions for FEMA appeals should be included in the original denial letter.
- Do not use FEMA funds for anything other than the categories listed in the award letter (e.g. personal property – purchasing replacement home goods; temporary housing – costs associated with temporary housing; home repair – materials and labor to repair disaster damage; etc). KEEP ALL RECEIPTS FOR USE OF FEMA FUNDS.
- Assistance for families through FEMA can include:
- Rental payments for temporary housing of up to three months for homeowners and one month for renters
- Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential items
- Grants to replace personal property
- Unemployment payments for up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster
- Low-interest loans to cover residential losses. Loans can go up to $200,000 for primary residence, $40,000 for personal property. This is through the Small Business Administration
- Loans of up to $2 million for businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and private, non-profit organizations. This is through the Small Business Administration
- Apply for an SBA disaster loan – you will not be approved unless you have the ability to repay. However, if you do not apply for the loan, you will be ineligible to receive additional assistance through SBA-Dependent Other Needs Assistance (ONA) funds
Information you will need to register with FEMA:
- Social Security Number
- You will be asked to provide your social security number; if you are registering for a business, your tax ID number should be provided. If you do not have a social security number, your household may still be able to receive assistance if there is a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National, or Qualified Alien with a social security number. (NOTE: If you, your spouse or a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National, or a Qualified Alien does not have a social security number, FEMA will not be able to complete a registration. If you do not have your or your spouse’s social security number at this time, please call back. The Social Security number is required for Identity Verification purposes.)
- Insurance information
- You will be asked to identify the type(s) of insurance coverage you have.
- Financial information
- You will be asked to enter your family’s gross total household income at the time of the disaster.
- Contact information
- Along with the address and phone number where the damages occurred, you will be asked for information on how FEMA can contact you. It is very important that you provide FEMA with your current mailing address and phone numbers where you can be contacted.
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Direct Deposit Information (optional)
- If you are determined to be eligible for assistance and would prefer that funds be transferred to your account, you will be asked for your banking information, which includes; the institution name, type of account, routing and account number.
St. Louis Area Emergency Management Agency Contacts
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