In a true disaster, the governor of the state in which the disaster occurs will need to request federal help, and the President will need to declare a major disaster in the state and the county. This is the only way that residents of the area will be able to have any sort of disaster relief that comes from FEMA, even though they may have a number of local, county, and even state options for help right after the disaster takes place.
What Is a Disaster According to the Government?
It is important to remember that what you and your neighbors might consider a disaster might not meet the federal requirements for being an actual disaster. For the government to allow federal assistance from FEMA, the disaster must be serious and affect a large number of people. Some of the most recent examples of declared disasters include #HurricaneKatrina and Hurricane Sandy. Typically, a disaster, according to the government, happens when hundreds of homes are destroyed or damaged at the same time and a large number of people are displaced from their houses and apartments.
If your area or county can’t meet the requirements of the federal government when it comes to a disaster, then you simply won’t receive help from FEMA.
How Do You Prepare for a Disaster That FEMA Can’t Help?
Sometimes, you will be on your own, even though you and your neighbors might feel that you are living in a disaster area. Instead of waiting for something like this to happen and being at a loss, you should take steps to prepare. One of the best things to do is get high quality insurance for your property. Homeowners insurance is important, as is renters insurance for those who don’t own.
However, look at the fine print of what these policies will and will not cover. Make sure they are able to cover a range of different disasters and that they do not have loopholes for “Acts of God” and the like. Make sure it covers things such as flood, quake damage, wildfires, etc. Insurance isn’t the best answer; it’s the only answer if there is no government assistance.
Look at Local Programs for Some Help
When you don’t have anywhere else to turn after your home is gone and it looks as though FEMA help won’t be coming through, you can turn to local programs. Many times local charities and churches will set up temporary shelters and be able to provide clothing, food and a warm place to stay for those who need it. These can be real lifesavers. Celebrities4DisasterRelief.com is my new foundation to help disaster victims.
It might be a good idea to consider looking at some of the local programs set up in your neighborhood right now just to have a better idea of where to turn when you need help. You could also get to know your neighbors better, so you have a network of people in the area that can help one another when the chips are down. When the government is not there to help, we need to be able to be there for one another.
Keep in mind that sometimes help from the government just takes some time. It might be a few days or longer before they actually declare the area a disaster. If they do, then you will be eligible for help from FEMA. You can visit their site, call them, or talk with representatives who will likely be in the area about what you need to do to get assistance from them.