It goes without saying that hurricanes can be devastating. In the aftermath of a particularly bad one you may find yourself without food or shelter. You may be having difficulty with your insurance agency. You may simply not know where to turn for help for disaster assistance.

Thankfully, there are government assistance programs (and a variety of nonprofits) to keep you and your family safe and help you get back on your feet.

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FEMA

The first agency on our list is the most well known and the most all-encompassing. FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has an extensive list of resources and disaster assistance programs to help survivors with everything from finding a place to stay to getting assistance with flood damage and even helping out with pets. FEMA updates their homepage with links to specific hurricane resources before, during, and after one occurs here: http://www.fema.gov. You’ll also find up-to-date information and all the links you need to get help from the federal government.

FEMA’s website is a good place to start looking for help. 

DissasterAssistance.Gov

Everyone is affected by disasters differently and http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ is set up for just that reason. You can take a personalized questionnaire to find out what sort of assistance you qualify for, then follow directions to get the help you need. This site is the place for getting loans and grants if your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. You may also find programs that cover lost wages and other expenses that come as the result of a disaster.

Small Business Association

If your small business was affected by a hurricane, you may be eligable for disaster assistance from the SBA. Head to their website and find out if you qualify.

Google

Google is a good resource in the aftermath of a disaster. Most importantly, Google creates crisis maps for disasters that let citizens know where power is out, which subways are functional, where gas shortages are, and more.

Simply go to  http://google.org/crisismap and you'll be able to get up-to-date information on the disaster. 

The Red Cross’s Safe and Well List

The American Red Cross has created a central registry for people to let their family and friends know they’ve made it through the storm. You can register or check for loved ones at http://www.redcross.org/find-help/contact-family/register-safe-listing.

Volunteer to Help Others

If you’re safe and sound, there are many different ways to help your neighbors. A great place to start is at Serve.gov, a government site that is helping organize volunteer efforts, blood drives, and charitable cash contributions. Serve.gov also has links to state-specific volunteer organizations and the Red Cross. You can head to http://www.serve.gov to help.

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day