By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Disasters strike at the most unexpected times. In fact, before 2018 ended, many US states experienced multiple tornadoes, which resulted in one death, multiple injuries, and damages in both residential and commercial areas. We do not want our daily life to be disrupted or to be forced to move out of our homes because of these natural calamities. However, we should also have a plan to deal with such, as it becomes more of a burden if we are caught unprepared to the harsh realities related to disasters.


Image source: National Weather Service

FEMA Disaster Relief insurance

The FEMA Disaster Insurance was designed to help individuals or businesses recover from a major disaster. Of course, an area needs to be declared for disaster insurance before you can begin your application. Some of the assistance you may get from FEMA include the following:

  • Emergency medical assistance
  • Emergency shelter
  • Prompt needs
  • Support for individuals suffering from disabilities or in need of access and functional needs
  • Housing aid to individuals, families, renters and homeowners, as applicable, resulting from a presidentially-declared disaster (primary residence only)
  • Low-interest loans, in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA), for business damages
  • Disaster assistance to other disaster-caused expenses, including child care, medical and dental, funeral and burial, and moving and storage, among others


What Happens After My Application?

FEMA will contact you within 10 days from your application date to schedule a home inspection. The waiting time is usually dependent on the gravity of the disaster. For example, a catastrophic disaster may require more time before an inspector can actually pay a visit.

Note that FEMA will not duplicate any assistance you may have already received from your insurance company, but they may consider items not covered by your insurance. It is best to talk to your insurance provider to clarify the clauses stated in your policy.

While no one can predict the exact time a disaster can occur, we should never ignore warnings from concerned organizations and local and national agencies. It pays to be prepared for the unforeseen events that may transpire before, during and after a disaster.