Quick. What kind of assistance does FEMA offer? Most people have a general knowledge of what they can do: clearing roads, providing boxes of Cheez It crackers for people who lost their homes and maybe blue tarps for people who lost their roofs (Maybe; if the red tape allows them to). But unless you’ve applied for help yourself, you probably only have a general idea.
What type of assistance is available for homeowners?
This will depend on whether the damaged property is your primary residence or a secondary home. If the structure where you reside suffered damage, you need to first file a claim through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. If there is a portion that remains uncovered, you can apply for assistance from FEMA. However, if the damage was to a second home, you will have to rely 100% on your private insurance coverage, because that type of property will not qualify for FEMA assistance.
Also remember that you only have 60 days to file a claim for flood damage. Make sure you do it with plenty of time before the deadline, because you may have to provide additional documentation that make take you a while to find. You don’t need the additional stress on top of damaged property. For additional information on what this process entails, you can read our previous blog on the subject by clicking here.
What about my business?
Although natural disasters also affect businesses, unfortunately, the only federal assistance available to business owners is in the form of loans through the Small Business Administration. There are different types of loans, depending on whether your damage was to the structure, or whether it was economic in nature (i.e. the owner paid full wages to employees even though the business was closed for a week or two after the storm/flood/insert natural disaster here).
If you’re not sure whether you have adequate flood insurance, review your policy now, since it takes about 30 days for a new policy to take effect. You don’t want to be facing a hurricane with the uncertainty of whether you’ll be protected. And if you’re not even sure if you’re in a high risk flood zone, contact us at National Flood Experts for a free evaluation. We’ll be happy to assist you.