FEMA Pro Tips: The Do's and Don'ts

What is FEMA?

FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is responsible for helping Americans to prepare for and recover from disasters.

FEMA is not intended to make citizens “whole” after a disaster, they typically only pay for what insurance will not.

3 things you should do when filing a FEMA claim.

1. File a claim with your insurance company first.

FEMA usually only covers what insurance will not.

2. Register for disaster assistance.

If a FEMA representative is not in the area doing localized investigations of homes, then register for FEMA disaster assistance. You can register for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov.

3. Take a lot of pictures.

Take lots of pictures of damages. Inspect your home for structural damages before getting settled again.

3 things you should NOT do when filing a FEMA claim.

1. Don't wait to clean and repair.

Don’t wait for FEMA or insurance adjusters before cleaning up and starting repairs.

2. You are not taking money away from someone else.

Don’t worry that federal disaster assistance is taking money away from someone else.

FEMA provides assistance to all eligible applicants. Renters can apply for assistance too – it’s not just for homeowners.

3. Don't wait for insurance settlements.

There can only be one FEMA registration per household.

Register right away and don’t wait for insurance settlements to register.

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