There are three ways to apply for FEMA assistance:
To apply for FEMA assistance you will need:
- your Social Security Number
- current and pre-disaster address
- current telephone number
- insurance information
- total household annual income
- bank information, including your bank routing number (if you don't have the routing number you can get it online on the Federal Reserve Financial Services website)
- an itemized list of the losses caused by the storm and flooding
You will also need documentation of your losses, including:
- the property itself, if you can keep it until FEMA has completed its investigation
- documentation of what you paid for the property, the cost of improvements you made to the property, and its fair market value (see our Taxes and Disaster Relief page for more information)
- documentation of insurance coverage, documentation of insurance reimbursement for your losses, and documentation of denial of coverage for any claims
- pictures or videos of the damage to the property, if possible
If you have questions about applying for FEMA help, check out their FAQs online.
After you apply for assistance, FEMA will mail you a copy of your application and a copy of their "Help After a Disaster: Applicant's Guide to the Individuals and Households Program." Read the guide carefully. It may answer most of your questions. You can also look at the FEMA Applicant Handbook online.
If you do not have insurance, an inspector should contact you within 10 to 14 days after you apply to set up a time to inspect your damaged home. If you are still unable to get to your home, it may take longer.
If you have insurance, you will need to work through your insurance claim first and then provide FEMA with the insurance company's decision letter. For flood damage, FEMA will issue an inspection before receiving a copy of your flood insurance decision letter, so you should register with FEMA and start the process right away if you are dealing with flood damage. In cases of flooding, FEMA will inspect to decide if you qualify for temporary living expenses not covered by flood insurance.
About 10 days after inspection, FEMA will decide if you qualify for assistance. If you qualify, FEMA will send you a check or deposit funds in your bank account. FEMA will also send you a letter that describes how to use the money.
If FEMA decides you do not qualify for disaster assistance, FEMA will send a letter explaining the decision. You can appeal the decision. Appeals must be made in writing within 60 days of the date of the decision.