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After A DisasterItems You May Need After a DisasterHere is a starter list of some things you should buy or look into after a disaster. Emergency and Disaster ServicesHere are links to organizations and resources that provide assistance and information in an emergency or natural disaster.How Social Workers Help Disaster SurvivorsWe interviewed, received advice and gathered ideas from social workers around the country to give you an idea of what social workers do and how they help after a disaster or fire.Dial 2-1-1 for Community HelpYou've heard about 9-1-1 and 4-1-1, now there's 2-1-1, a number dedicated to connecting people with helpful community services and volunteer opportunities.How Disasters Are DeclaredA major disaster could result from a hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado or major fire. The event must be clearly more than state or local governments can handle alone. Temporary Housing Data SheetDepending upon the damage, you may be staying in your home, a friend's home, a hotel, or a shelter. Should you need temporary housing, here is a brief form for you to write down your temporary housing details.FEMA Disaster Recovery CentersDisaster Recovery Centers are temporary centers set up in a federal disaster area, helping local residents through the federal assistance application process and also offer recovery advice.Water Quality and Safety PrecautionsWhen it comes to food and water, err on the side of contamination until you know better. (In other words, guilty until proven innocent.)Federal Food Safety GuidelinesHas your fridge or freezer turned off and the food is still inside? Apply the golden rule for food safety: "If In Doubt, Throw It Out." Below are general food safety and cleaning tips from the government's food safety guidelines.Contacting Others After a Disaster or TraumaThe most important thing to realize is that you are safe. Now, let others know how you are — and where you are.Disaster Assistance TimelineHere is a timeline breaking down how your local emergency management services, first responders and other organizations will respond after a natural disaster. Disaster Relief Financial Assistance OptionsExperts we've interviewed say that the severity of a natural disaster affects the time it takes to receive financial assistance.Handling Emotional and Physical Stress After a DisasterNatural disasters cause emotional and physical stress — and a host of reactions including anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, sadness, anger, fatigue, hopelessness, irrational fears, and nightmares.FEMA Common Misconceptions about Disaster AidHere are some common misconceptions about FEMA from FEMA.FEMA Questions to AskAs with an insurance agent, these questions for FEMA officials may confirm what you already know, or may help you understand what processes, timelines and what federal aid is available.FEMA Types of Disaster AidThe following information is from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).Filing for Federal Disaster ReliefFederal Disaster Relief is available after the President issues a disaster declaration for your area. Visit FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) site, to see if a disaster declaration has been made in your area.Helping Others Hit by DisasterImmediately or soon after an emergency or natural disaster, many people want to help. Here are some tips to help you help others. Review these, be safe, be smart.About the American Red CrossThe American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, with a mission to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.In the News How to Get Disaster InformationMedia web sites are good resources for local information, breaking news and weather updates during and after natural disasters. Here are some ways to use the media to your best advantage.In the News Reporting on DisastersAfter a major disaster — fire, natural disaster or other catastrophe — the media will mostly like arrive on the scene. Here's what to know.Tax Tips After a DisasterAfter a disaster, fire or other major loss, bills and expenses can pile up quickly. Luckily, there are some IRS forms you can complete to receive immediate help and possibly get additional tax relief over the next few years. Who Will Help You After a Disaster?After a storm, local and regional authorities — such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance services and state or municipal service workers — may be dispatched to severely affected areas. Here's what to know.

Emergency and Disaster Services

Here are links to organizations and resources that provide assistance and information in an emergency or natural disaster.

Government and State Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Select the topic of your interest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a component of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS is the principal agency in the United States government for protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing essential human services.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Click on 'Disaster Communities' to learn about hazards, federal disaster assistance, and preparedness. FEMA prepares the nation for hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

Federal Housing Administration
The Federal Housing Administration, generally known as "FHA", provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals.

National Weather Service
Find the latest weather reports for your area. Click here for a report online or click here for a list of local numbers that you can call for a local forecast in your area. The page lists states by regions: Alaska Region, Central Region, Eastern Region, Southern Region, Western Region. The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas.

USDA - Disaster Assistance Programs
The Farm Service Agency provides assistance for natural disaster losses, resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.

Ready.gov
A tutorial program from the Department of Homeland Security. Includes lists for various emergency kits, tips on creating an evacuation plan and information on natural events. The Department of Homeland Security leverages resources within Federal, state, and local governments, coordinating the transition of multiple agencies and programs into a single, integrated agency focused on protecting the American people and their homeland.

Your Family Health and Medical Record
Knowing the details of your family's health information can come in handy in the event of an emergency. Click on the link on the top right to download the 18-page printable booklet: "Family Health and Medical Record." Print it out and fill it in with all the necessary information. Remember to make several copies: keep one at work, at school, and a few at home. Print out extra copies of pages 7-12 if you have more than one child. Be sure to update the information regularly. The Texas Cooperative Extension is an educational organization provided by the U.S. government, the state government through Texas A&M University, and your county government.

State-by-state Emergency and Health Department List
Click on your state for a link to your area's environmental, health, public safety and emergency management departments. PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations.

Nonprofit Organizations

American Red Cross
Click on 'Disaster Services', 'Be Prepared,' or 'Health & Human Services' to learn about natural events. The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, provides relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

National Safety Council
Fact sheets on disaster preparation and storm safety. The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

Salvation Army
Type in your ZIP code to find a Salvation Army chapter nearest you. Salvation Army social service programs meet the basic needs of daily life for those without the resources to do so themselves. Often, the programs provide food, shelter, clothing, financial assistance to pay utilities, and other necessities based on the need.

Insurance

Government and State Resources

Consumer Action
Tips on saving money on homeowner's insurance and questions to ask your agent. The Consumer Action Network is a component of the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC). The FCIC is a source for questions and answers about consumer problems and government services.

Other Organizations

Docu-Damage
Docu-Damage is an informational resource for those who have sustained damage from fires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters and are now negotiating their way through the insurance claims process. The tips and information comes from professionals in many industries including Insurance Adjusters, Public Insurance Adjusters, Contractors, Attorneys, Building Material Suppliers, etc.

Insurance Consumer Advocate Network
The Insurance Consumer Advocate Network (I-CAN) is a National Support Network of Respect for the insurance consumer.

Insurance Information Institute
Here you can find answers on homeowner's insurance, filing a claim and general home security concerns. The mission of the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) is to improve public understanding of insurance -- what it does and how it works. The Insurance Information Institute is a nonprofit communications organization supported by the insurance industry.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Read consumer publications, alerts, company and general insurance information. Click here for a link to insurance departments by state. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the organization of insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the four U.S. territories.

National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters
NAPIA is the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. Public Adjusters are experts on property loss adjustment who are retained by policy holders to assist in preparing, filing and adjusting insurance claims. NAPIA members across the United States have joined together for the purpose of professional education, certification, and promotion of a code of professional conduct.

Legal

Government and State Resources

Do you know of a site that you think would be helpful in this area? E-mail us!

Other Organizations

LawHelp
LawHelp helps low and moderate income people find free legal aid programs in their communities, and answers to questions about their legal rights in areas related to housing, work, family, bankruptcy, disability, immigration and other topics. This site has been built by Pro Bono Net, a nonprofit organization headquartered in New York, and by partnering legal aid organizations.

Nolo.com
Link to legal matters on property and money, rights and disputes, family law and more. Nolo.com is a legal guide, which provides do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and small businesses.

Prepare Your Home

Government and State Resources

Do you know of a site that you think would be helpful in this area? E-mail us!

Nonprofit Organizations

Institute for Business & Home Safety – Fortified...for safer living program
The Fortified…for safer living program specifies construction, design and landscaping guidelines to increase a new home's resistance to natural disaster from the ground up. Enter your ZIP code to find out the best precaution measures to take for your home. The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a nonprofit association that engages in communication, education, engineering and research.

Protect Your Home From Hail Damage
Hail can do a lot of damage to a home. Read this article for preparedness tips. The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a nonprofit association that engages in communication, education, engineering and research.

Property Restoration

Government and State Resources

Do you know of a site that you think would be helpful in this area? E-mail us!

Nonprofit Organizations

Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoring
Click on 'Find Members' on the top of the page. Select which service you are interested in and also select your state. The Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration (ASCR) is the oldest and largest trade association for the cleaning and restoration industry.

Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification
Choose from a variety of topics: cleaning, inspecting and restoration. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a nonprofit certifying body for the flooring inspection, floor covering and specialized fabric cleaning, and disaster restoration industry.

Nonprofit Organizations

National Lightning Safety Institute
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on 'Personal Lightning Safety' or Structural Lightning Safety'. The National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI) is a nonprofit, nonproduct advocacy of lightning safety for both people and structures.

WHN - Home Inventory

Sample Home Inventory Lists Helpful Reminders
Print out and fill in these WHN forms for each room in your home. A detailed list of your possessions and their locations, estimated value and price, can make it easier when filing a claim after a loss or disaster.

Create a Home Inventory List
A home inventory is a well-documented list and videos/photos of the belongings in your home. Click on the link above to learn more about making your own home inventory lists.

After A DisasterItems You May Need After a DisasterHere is a starter list of some things you should buy or look into after a disaster. Emergency and Disaster ServicesHere are links to organizations and resources that provide assistance and information in an emergency or natural disaster.How Social Workers Help Disaster SurvivorsWe interviewed, received advice and gathered ideas from social workers around the country to give you an idea of what social workers do and how they help after a disaster or fire.Dial 2-1-1 for Community HelpYou've heard about 9-1-1 and 4-1-1, now there's 2-1-1, a number dedicated to connecting people with helpful community services and volunteer opportunities.How Disasters Are DeclaredA major disaster could result from a hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado or major fire. The event must be clearly more than state or local governments can handle alone. Temporary Housing Data SheetDepending upon the damage, you may be staying in your home, a friend's home, a hotel, or a shelter. Should you need temporary housing, here is a brief form for you to write down your temporary housing details.FEMA Disaster Recovery CentersDisaster Recovery Centers are temporary centers set up in a federal disaster area, helping local residents through the federal assistance application process and also offer recovery advice.Water Quality and Safety PrecautionsWhen it comes to food and water, err on the side of contamination until you know better. (In other words, guilty until proven innocent.)Federal Food Safety GuidelinesHas your fridge or freezer turned off and the food is still inside? Apply the golden rule for food safety: "If In Doubt, Throw It Out." Below are general food safety and cleaning tips from the government's food safety guidelines.Contacting Others After a Disaster or TraumaThe most important thing to realize is that you are safe. Now, let others know how you are — and where you are.Disaster Assistance TimelineHere is a timeline breaking down how your local emergency management services, first responders and other organizations will respond after a natural disaster. Disaster Relief Financial Assistance OptionsExperts we've interviewed say that the severity of a natural disaster affects the time it takes to receive financial assistance.Handling Emotional and Physical Stress After a DisasterNatural disasters cause emotional and physical stress — and a host of reactions including anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, sadness, anger, fatigue, hopelessness, irrational fears, and nightmares.FEMA Common Misconceptions about Disaster AidHere are some common misconceptions about FEMA from FEMA.FEMA Questions to AskAs with an insurance agent, these questions for FEMA officials may confirm what you already know, or may help you understand what processes, timelines and what federal aid is available.FEMA Types of Disaster AidThe following information is from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).Filing for Federal Disaster ReliefFederal Disaster Relief is available after the President issues a disaster declaration for your area. Visit FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) site, to see if a disaster declaration has been made in your area.Helping Others Hit by DisasterImmediately or soon after an emergency or natural disaster, many people want to help. Here are some tips to help you help others. Review these, be safe, be smart.About the American Red CrossThe American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, with a mission to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.In the News How to Get Disaster InformationMedia web sites are good resources for local information, breaking news and weather updates during and after natural disasters. Here are some ways to use the media to your best advantage.In the News Reporting on DisastersAfter a major disaster — fire, natural disaster or other catastrophe — the media will mostly like arrive on the scene. Here's what to know.Tax Tips After a DisasterAfter a disaster, fire or other major loss, bills and expenses can pile up quickly. Luckily, there are some IRS forms you can complete to receive immediate help and possibly get additional tax relief over the next few years. Who Will Help You After a Disaster?After a storm, local and regional authorities — such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance services and state or municipal service workers — may be dispatched to severely affected areas. Here's what to know.