Help Your Community Members Apply for Disaster Assistance

Thursday, 19 March 2009

It is only March and already there have been 17 federally-declared disasters in 2009. Most of these disasters can be attributed to severe winter weather and flooding. Disaster assistance is often available for families and individuals in affected counties; however, some people may not be aware of the available federal aid or know how to apply. Your Fire Corps team can take the lead in communicating this important information to members of your community.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes disaster assistance as “money or direct assistance to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance.” Designed to help with critical expenses that otherwise aren’t covered, disaster assistance can provide a displaced family with temporary housing, funding to fix damage to a residence, or money to help cover medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs.

Help your community prepare in advance for potential disasters in your area by developing flyers that can be distributed, if and when needed, to citizens in affected areas. These flyers could contain information such as the basic qualifications to receive assistance and details on how to apply. To learn more about federal disaster assistance, visit the FEMA web site at

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