If you're reading this, it's likely that you've been affected by a natural disaster. Whether it's a tornado or wildfire, these kinds of events are devastating to everyone involved. Thankfully, FEMA exists to help people in times like these. What exactly does FEMA do, and who is eligible for its help? We’re here to explain exactly what exactly the Federal Emergency Management Agency is and how they might be able to assist after a storm hits your area.

What is FEMA?

FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's mission is to help communities prepare for, prevent and respond to disasters. FEMA's goal is to help people before, during and after a disaster by:

  • Coordinating with state and local governments as well as other federal agencies like the Small Business Administration and HUD (Housing & Urban Development) to ensure that public funds are available when needed. 
  • Providing emergency response services such as search-and-rescue missions. 
  • Helping families apply for assistance with damaged homes through programs such as NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), SBA (Small Business Administration) loans or FEMA grants. 
  • Providing temporary housing when needed through its trailers after hurricanes or tornadoes hit an area. 

All of these goals and missions came together to create FEMA in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter.

What does FEMA do?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the government agency that helps people and communities recover from disasters. It does this by providing assistance with disaster response, recovery and mitigation. FEMA also provides housing assistance for eligible survivors who need temporary housing until permanent housing is found or repaired. If you've been displaced because of a storm or other type of disaster, you are able to get help from FEMA within a short period of time.  

Who can receive FEMA help?

FEMA help is available to everyone! Anyone who has experienced a disaster is able to apply for assistance from FEMA. This includes private citizens, state and local governments and even charities. FEMA does not require proof of citizenship or legal residency in the United States.

It doesn't matter if you live in an area that's prone to natural disasters, like Florida or California; or an urban area with little risk of natural disasters (like Chicago), FEMA still provides aid if you need it! 

How do you get FEMA to help?

Call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) to get information about disaster assistance. You apply for help online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via mobile device at m.fema.gov. If you prefer to visit in person, there are Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) located across the country where trained staff help determine if your damage meets eligibility requirements. They also help determine how much assistance you may be able to receive for your losses from both public and private sources of funding such as insurance proceeds, loans, grants and other disaster recovery programs. 

FEMA helps with disaster recovery.

If you're living in the United States and you've been impacted by a disaster, FEMA helps with temporary housing, food, and other needs. Our team at JGB Restoration is also here to help you after natural disaster damage. JGB Restoration is trained to handle any type of restoration project or emergency cleanup situation. Call our team of professionals when you need help after a natural disaster or severe storm damage.