How Does FEMA Assist in Disaster Relief?
A natural disaster can be so overwhelming that victims are left bewildered as to where to begin. In the wake of a flood, tornado, or hurricane, people who have lost virtually everything need help from wherever they can find it. Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides several disaster relief services and financial assistance. Generally, it acts as a liaison between the federal government and the affected area.
Some Assistance Specifics
The disaster relief agency provides direct services and financial assistance for damages and other disaster-related expenses not covered by the victims’ insurance. Specifics that the federal agency provides include:
- Coordinates with law enforcement on procedures for evacuation
- Coordinates food distribution
- Coordinates medical assistance
- Provides temporary fixes for houses such as roof tarps
- Seeks and provides temporary shelter for victims
- Provides financial assistance (e.g., unemployment, replacement, repair, lodging)
- Provides crisis counseling
FEMA not only provides help after a disaster but also before a storm hits and when it’s underway. For example, they will help prepare as much as possible for a major flood, assist with evacuations before and during the flooding, and provide financial assistance for damage afterward.
Prepare Ahead of Time
It is helpful to take before and after photos of your property (residence, vehicles, and other personal property) if you begin the repair process before an adjuster comes out to assess the damage. You could be reimbursed for some of these expenses. Know what your property insurance covers and does not cover. After the storm, you will need to apply for disaster assistance and make an insurance claim. Some forms of financial assistance are income-dependent.
Suppose your residence in Memphis, TN, sustains damage such as flooding from a major storm. In that case, you will require storm damage mitigation professionals too quickly and thoroughly restore your property to its original state. FEMA should provide help with some of the costs incurred.