FEMA: "What's In It for You?"

FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It was created specifically to provide financial and other recovery assistance when disaster strikes. One of the very first stops along the road to housing recovery should be to check out the assistance that may be available through this government agency. This section of the guide provides basic information about FEMA assistance that may be available to you. Visit the FEMA website, www.fema.gov/sandy for additional information and helpful links to disaster recovery resources.

Recognizing that government alone cannot adequately respond to all of the challenges posed by a catastrophic event, FEMA employs a “Whole Community” approach to emergency management. Whole Community leverages other federal resources, state, local and tribal partners, as well as nonprofit and faith-based groups, to serve disaster survivors.

FEMA directly assists individuals and families who lived in a county designated by the President as a disaster area and whose property losses are not fully covered by insurance. This is not to say that FEMA will do nothing for you if you had insurance. Later on, we will discuss how FEMA may help you even if you had some insurance coverage. But disaster assistance is not meant to supplement insurance coverage. The program is intended to assist you in meeting post-disaster expenses that cannot be covered by any other means. The maximum award under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) is $31,900.

There are deadlines for registering with FEMA. Visit the website for registration deadline dates. If you have already registered with FEMA or applied for FEMA assistance and received funding, feel free to bypass this pit stop and take the fast lane to the next section "State Programs"