When a Presidential Disaster Declaration is made following a major disaster, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act establishes a process that enables states and local governments to obtain federal resources to assist in their recovery. Resources are provided in a tiered approach to ensure federal benefits are not duplicated for the same use. Resources are provided first by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), then by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in the form of low interest loans and finally, as a “funding of last resort,” Congress may allocate funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery fund (CDBG-DR).
Prior to accessing any federal benefits, homeowners must first avail themselves of all applicable insurance proceeds to aid in their recovery, including private hazard insurance or flood insurance backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Only in situations where a remaining unmet need is established will subsequent federal benefits be made available to a homeowner, if available.
Please follow the links provided to learn more about the resources that are typically made available from the federal government following a Presidentially-Declared Disaster.