Federal Disaster Resources

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If you have received a letter from FEMA saying that you are ineligible for disaster relief or that your application is incomplete, you have the right to appeal the decision within 60 days of receiving mailed notification. An appeal is a written request to review your file again with additional information you provide that may affect the decision. Your ability to appeal is time-sensitive. You must fax or postmark your appeal within 60 days of the date of FEMA’s decision letter.

How to be ready for a FEMA inspection:

CDC: Tools for Caring for Children in a Natural Disaster:

Hurricane Resources: The National Traumatic Stress Network:


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

What is FEMA?

  • FEMA plans the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, and recovering from all disasters in the United States.

What kinds of assistance does FEMA offer?

  • FEMA offers different benefits depending on the kind of disaster and how severe it is.
  • Private assistance is offered through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP).

What kinds of private assistance is offered through IHP?

Housing Assistance includes: Other needs assistance includes:
Temporary housing: money to rent a different place or to live in temporary housing when rental property is not available. Personal property: money to repair or replace damaged and destroyed personal property as a result of the disaster.
Repair: FEMA may provide up to $5,000 for repairs then the homeowner must apply for a Small Business Administration disaster loan for additional repairs. Childcare
Replacement: is money to replace a disaster-damaged home. This is rare and can be done with limited funds. Medical and dental expenses
Permanent housing construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. Critical needs assistance and other disaster related expenses.

How do I apply for FEMA?

  • You may apply for FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visit
  • For speech or hearing-impaired you may call 1-800-462-7585 TTY
  • You may ask about other assistance and FEMA by visiting

What if IHP is not enough?

  • You may also contact your local Small Business Association office at 803-765-5377.
  • To apply for assistance, you must be the owner of the damaged property.
  • For more information on the Disaster Assistance Program you can visit

Who qualifies for FEMA assistance?

  • Help is available for those who have disaster related expenses or needs not covered by insurance or loans from the Small Business Administration.
  • To qualify for monetary assistance, you must be a citizen or lawful resident.

Other tips

  • Contact FEMA and your insurance company as soon as possible to see what losses are covered.
  • Try to document your losses by taking pictures of the damage. You may also write a list of any property that was damaged or destroyed.
  • Make sure anyone who says they are from the FEMA or Small Business Administration (SBA) has a laminated ID card. Clothing alone is not proof they are who they say.