Atlantic hurricane season: June 1 through November 30. Wildfire seasons vary, depending on region. Earthquakes have no season – they strike without warning.
Depending on where you live, natural disaster preparedness may be a vital undertaking, but stocking food and water only takes care of one’s immediate needs.
What happens if your roof is blown off, your walls collapse or your home is completely destroyed? Even the most diligent retrofitting can’t foil Mother Nature.
Our hearts go out to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We know that once their safety is assured and their immediate needs are taken care of, their thoughts will turn to the safety and overall livability of their homes. So, today we thought we’d take a look at some preliminary steps to take.
Don’t remain at or return home if you have any doubts about the soundness of your home. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army typically provide shelters during disasters. You can locate shelters by texting “SHELTER” and your ZIP code, (for instance, “SHELTER 75043”).
Now that you’re safe, take these steps to begin the recovery process:
Remember, even if you lack flood coverage, you may still be eligible for assistance.
Get the details at disasterassistance.gov.
Whether or not you can obtain federal disaster assistance depends upon if your county is declared an official disaster area. If it is, apply for disaster assistance, even if you have insurance. FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Assistance program offers grants for some home repairs, rent payment assistance and other disaster-related necessities. You can apply online, here.
Don’t wait to apply for assistance – if you do, you run the risk of missing FEMA’s deadline to apply.
Authorities with FEMA warn that phony contractors, housing inspectors and those hawking offers of government aid will be circling the area like vultures.
Always ask for official identification and never entertain anyone who asks for money.
“There is no fee to apply for or to get help from FEMA, the Small Business Administration or the state,” they warn.
Report suspicious scammers to FEMA at 866-720-5721 or by contacting your state’s attorney general’s office.
While Hurricane Harvey’s floods are top-of-mind right now, disasters of many stripes can occur across the country. Keep this information handy as it applies to earthquake, wildfire and other disaster victims as well.
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