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Disaster Relief & Emergency Preparedness

These pages include disaster relief and assistance resources and information on topics ranging from emergency evacuation to finding grants that can help you rebuild your life after a disaster strikes.

1. Disaster Relief & Assistance Sources

1.1. Shelter & Housing - Disaster Relief & Assistance

These sources can help you locate disaster relief and assistance sources. 

Shelter & Housing - Disaster Relief and Assistance

This site has an anonymous online form that you can complete to get an accurate, personalized list of possible assistance. The form questions are directly related to disaster assistance and the response is in the form of a list of possible disaster assistance sources and their online applications.

Disaster Recovery Center Locator
FEMA offers an online Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) Locator that allows individuals to search for Disaster Recovery Centers near them. The locator provides information about each Disaster Recovery Center, such including hours of operation, services offered, and driving directions. You will need to enter you location information. You can search the locator by Address, City, and State and/or Zip Code.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Hotel Locator
This FEMA page contains a map based directory that allows you to find hotels that participate in the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. The results from this search does not imply that room is available. You will have to contact the hotels to obtain information.

Emergency Management Agencies
This page contains contact information for emergency management agencies and offices for all U.S. States and Territories.

Salvation Army Housing & Homeless Services
For those facing extreme heat, unbearable cold, wet weather, or other dangerous elements on the street, each Salvation Army homeless shelter is a welcome respite featuring a safe place to eat, sleep, and shower at no cost. The link is to a search mechanism that can locate Salvation Army centers and services in your area.

American Red Cross
This assistance locator will guide you to local Red Cross chapters who can then inform you of shelter and other emergency services that they may have in your area.

1.2. Food Assistance After A Disaster

Assistance Obtaining Food & Nutrition After A Disaster

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)
The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) gives food assistance to low-income households with food loss or damage caused by a natural disaster.

Food Assistance for Disaster Relief
Find out about USDA Disaster Nutrition Assistance Programs and the support they bring to communities and individuals recovering from disasters.

1.3. Financial Assistance Disaster Relief

Disaster Unemployment Assistance
A US Department of Labor program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides financial assistance to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits.

Home & Property Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers affordable financial help to homeowners and renters in a declared disaster area. You don't need to own a business. Help is available in the form of low-interest, long-term loans for losses not fully covered by insurance or other means. You may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace your primary home to its pre-disaster condition. But you can't use the loan to upgrade or add on to the home, unless required by building authority or code.

Business Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers affordable financial help to businesses and private, non-profit organizations in a declared disaster area. Help is available in the form of low-interest, long-term loans for losses not fully covered by insurance or other means.

DAV Disaster Relief Program
The DAV Disaster Relief Program supports veterans, service members, surviving spouses and their families during times of great need in the aftermath of isolated/specific disasters. The Midwestern and Eastern floods, Western fires, and Central tornadoes are just some of the disasters which have recently impacted veterans and their families.

Disaster Relief Resource Guide From The IRS
This resource guide provides information to individuals and businesses affected by a federally declared disaster and the assistance available to disaster victims. This Disaster Relief Resource Guide can help you claim unreimbursed casualty losses on property that was damaged or destroyed. 

1.4. Legal Assistance After A Disaster

Disaster Legal Services
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security managed program,  Disaster Legal Services (DLS) provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or as a result of a Presidentially declared major disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their disaster-related needs. When the President declares a disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, provides free legal help for survivors of that disaster.

1.5. Social Security Disaster Proceedures

Social Security disaster proceedure guidance.

Disaster Procedures

Chapter Table of Contents
GN 00401.000 Disaster Management
GN 00410.000 Processing Claims and Payments in Disasters

To Link to this section - Use this URL: 
GN 00400.000 - Disaster Procedures - Table of Contents - 03/24/2017
Batch run: 09/26/2017

2. Emergency Facts & Tips

2.1. Emergency Preparedness Facts & Tips

Emergency preparedness is the science and strategy of being ready for a potential or impending disaster or emergency situation. Be it a hurricane, flood, fire or any devistating event, being prepared will save lives and decrease hardship. Much of the advice includes things that you and your family can do on their own to increase safety during an emergency.

Emergency Preparedness Facts & Tips

Emergency Preparedness: Including People With Disabilities
Information for people with disabilities, their family members, and first responders to help prepare and plan for special needs during a disaster including safe evacuation. From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ready New York: Emergency Planning For People With Disabilities
NYC Emergency Management offers a workbook designed to assist New Yorkers with disabilities or access and functional needs create an emergency plan. My Emergency Plan walks users through establishing a support network, capturing important health information, planning for evacuation, and gathering emergency supplies. First responders or caregivers can also use the workbook to help people during an emergency.

Emergency Evacuation Preparedness: A Guide For People With Disabilities (PDF)
This guide focuses on developing emergency evacuation preparedness plans that take into account the needs of people with disabilities and activity limitations. The development of this publication was supported by grants from the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and from Bank of America.

Emergency Preparedness For Older Adults
Information, tools, and resources for older adults and their caregivers to help prepare for and respond to different types of emergencies.

The Preparedness Wizard
A tool to help you and your family develop a preparedness plan from the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.

Just In Time Disaster Training Videos - Preparedness for People with Disabilities and Functional Needs
This general preparedness video for people with disabilities outlines basic practices to follow based on each individuals specific needs in time of emergency. 

Emergency Planning For People Who Use Electrical Assistive Technology Or Medical Equipment
This emergency power planning checklist is for people who use electricity and battery dependent assistive technology and medical devices, including breathing machines (respirators, ventilators), power wheelchairs and scooters, oxygen, suction or home dialysis equipment.

Emergency Preparedness For Children and Their Caregivers
Learn more about the unique needs of children during and after disasters and how disasters can affect children differently than they do adults.

Just In Time Disaster Training - Parents with Children who have Access and Functional Needs
This general preparedness video for people with disabilities outlines basic practices to follow based on each individuals specific needs in time of emergency. Presented by The Department of Homeland Security featuring FEMA representatives.

Emergency Preparedness For People With Chronic Illnesses
Disaster information for people with chronic conditions and disabilities including recommendations and resources on deafness and hearing impairment, diabetes, dialysis care, and more.

Emergency Preparedness For Pregnant Women
Information to help pregnant women better prepare for a disaster or evacuation.

Disaster Preparedness For Your Pet
Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do  for your pet is being prepared. This guide from the ASPCA offers simple steps you can take before a disaster to make sure that your pet stays safe.

2.2. Emergency Evacuation Facts & Tips

Emergency evacuations are more common than most of us might think. Fires, floods and many other natural disasters cause frequent emergency evacuation from endangered areas. It is in your best interests to heed and obey emergency evacuation orders as outlined by national and local authorities. 

Emergency Evacuation

Ready.gov has guidelines on how to evacuate your family and pets when time really matters. Learn what you should do if you need to leave quickly, and what you can do if you have a little more time to plan.

Learn how to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your pets safe and healthy during an evacuation and while staying in a shelter.

Tsunami - Preparing Your Evacuation Routes
Watch a short video that offers useful tips on how to prepare for an evacuation. You can use these in any community. Tips include things like be familiar with where you are, know the signs and what they mean, and know where you're going. 

Family Plan - Make Preparations
Get tips on emergency evacuation from the State of Louisianna. Find out what to grab and take with you if you need to leave fast, as well as how to prepare ahead if time permits. Get tips on how to protect your home and valuables, and what supplies and papers you need to take with you. 

2.3. Shelter In Place Facts & Tips

There are times when evacuation is not possible or would be more dangerous than staying where you are. At those times, your only option may be to shelter in place. The following resources can help you learn to shelter in place safely.

Shelter In Place Facts & Tips 

Emergency Shelter In Place Information
This Fact Sheet on Shelter in Place (PDF, 88 KB) from the American Red Cross will explain what shelter-in-place means and why it may be necessary. The document offers tips on how to shelter in place at home, work, school, or in your vehicle.

Stay Put - Learn To Shelter In Place
How to safely stay put in different places from any room to a vehicle. Includes information on shelter in place with a pet. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Shelter In Place Supplies Checklist
A checklist from the American Red Cross listing supplies and equipment for a shelter in place lasting from hours to days. This checklist helps you determine if you have the necessary material on hand.

Build Your Own Disaster Supply Kit
A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. This page offers a list of mostly inexpensive and easy to find items that may save lives in a disaster.

Electrical Safety Precautions During Disasters
USA.gov offers a brochure you can print out about electrical safety during and after storms and other disasters. The Electrical Safety brochure includes advice for flooded areas, wet electrical equipment, portable generators, and downed power lines.

Safe Generator Use
This information from the American Red Cross tells you things you need to know about how to use a generator safely. Get tips on how to buy a generator, how to use it at home, and why you should not use it indoors.