Hurricane Irma

Follow all instructions from your state and local emergency management agencies, and do not return home until local officials tell you it is safe to return.

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What You Need to Know For Hurricane Irma Recovery

As the Hurricane Irma recovery process continues, federal officials offer the following advice for people returning to their homes:  

  1. Apply for disaster assistance. The quickest way to apply for federal disaster assistance is online through DisasterAssistance.gov. If you don't have access to the Internet, you can apply by phone. Call 1-800-621-3362. 
  2. Don't return home until local officials tell you it's safe. Before you enter your house, check for safety hazards like loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage. Learn what else to check before and after you enter.
  3. Be on the look out for scam artists and fraud. Remember you never have to pay a fee to apply for federal disaster assistance. If someone tells you that you do, it's a scam. Other common fraud includes phony house inspectors and fake donation requests. Follow these tips to avoid scams and fraud after a disaster.
  4. Find help if you're feeling distressed. You can talk to a professional who can help you cope with emotional distress from the storm by calling the Disaster Distress Line at 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746.
  5. Know where to find trusted information. After major storms, rumors circulate and scammers may try to take advantage of you. Make sure you know what's real and what's fake. Check FEMA's rumor control information for trusted storm and recovery updates. 

For the latest information (in multiple languages) on Irma, visit FEMA.gov or follow USAGov and FEMA on Twitter.

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Find Out If You're Eligible and How to Apply for Disaster Assistance

St. John, St. Thomas, some counties in Texas, and Florida, and some municipalities in Puerto Rico are eligible for individual disaster assistance. 

There are several ways to see if you qualify for financial assistance:

Currently, the application process is much faster online. If you have access to the Internet, apply that way. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

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What to Expect After You Apply for FEMA Aid

Learn what happens after you apply for federal disaster aid.

You may receive an application to apply for a low-interest, long term SBA Disaster Loan. Completing the SBA loan application is an important step in finding out what aid may be available to you.

As a homeowner you may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace your primary residence and up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. You are not required to accept the loan to receive FEMA assistance, but it may enable you to be considered for different types of assistance. 

After you apply

An inspector will contact you to schedule a visit.

Be ready to:

  • Keep your schedule appointment:
    • Appointments take 30-40 minutes, and you must be present.
    • Contact your insurance agent if you have insurance
    • Prove your identity.
  • Show these documents:
    • Photo ID: driver's license or passport
    • Proof of occupancy: lease or utility bill
    • Proof of ownership: deed, title, mortgage payment book, or tax receipts

During the Inspector's Visit

Inspectors will:

  • wear official FEMA ID badges.
  • confirm your disaster registration number.
  • review structural and personal property damage.
  • ask you to sign official documentation.
  • verify ownership and occupancy.

Inspectors won't:

  • determine eligibility.
  • cost any money.
  • ask for credit card information.
  • take the place of an insurance inspection.

After the Inspector's Visit

You will be sent a decision letter.

If you are approved for aid:

  • You will receive a check or an electronic funds transfer.
  • A follow-up letter will explain how the funds can be used.

If you have questions regarding the letter, you can visit a Disaster Recovery Center in your area or call us at 800-621-3362 (711/Video Relay Service). For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

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Help Survivors of a Natural Disaster

After a disaster, many people want to volunteer their services or donate money or goods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides information and tips on volunteering and donating responsibly after a natural disaster.  

Do not just "show up" to volunteer assistance. This actually makes things harder for responders. The following groups and organizations provide information on helping survivors of natural disasters:

Charity Scams

Make sure your donations are going to the people that need help. Learn how to spot Hurricane scams.

If you suspect you've encountered disaster fraud report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, emails can be sent to disaster@leo.gov, and information can be faxed to (225) 334-4707.

FEMA Hiring Temporary Workers 

FEMA is currently hiring temporary workers in several locations across the United States and Puerto Rico to support hurricane response and recovery efforts. Find a list of available positions and how to apply.

Small Business Administration Hiring Temporary Workers

The Small Business Administration is hiring for a variety of temporary positions to assist with hurricane disaster activity. Learn more about the available job openings and how to apply.

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Gas Price Gouging

After an emergency, such as a hurricane or tornado, gas stations may raise gas prices to levels that are very high, unreasonable, and unfair. This is called price gouging and it is illegal. If you believe that you are a victim of price gouging, contact your state attorney general.

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Latest News and Images of Hurricane Irma

These are the latest alerts and updates related to Hurricane Irma from across the federal government. We'll continue to update this list as more information is available.

Health and Safety

Money and Finances

Travel and Transportation

Citizenship and Immigration

Public Safety and Community Support

Storm Imagery

For the Media

For Federal Employees and Agencies

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Last Updated: May 22, 2017

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