What To Do When Flood Insurance Is Not Enough
Unfortunately, not everyone affected by a flood in Austin,TX, has flood insurance. However, federal disaster aid, available to those in federally declared disaster areas, can provide relief for some. Disaster aid can also benefit those whose insurance does not pay out enough to cover their disaster-related expenses.
Who Is Eligible for Federal Disaster Assistance?
Anyone can apply for assistance from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). However, your eligibility will be determined by several factors, including your yearly income, the amount of damage done to your property and flood insurance coverage. If you are approved for a grant, you will be notified of how much money you will receive and the ways in which you can use the funds. In general, spending is restricted to disaster-related expenses, including the following:
- Temporary housing
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Property restoration
How To Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance
You can apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by telephone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585 or at 800-621-3362 for video relay service. A FEMA inspector will come to your property, and you will later receive notification of whether your application was approved. If you have already begun repairs, you may be eligible for reimbursement funds. In this case, it is important to have before and after photographs.
What To Do if You Need More Aid
If you are ineligible for a federal grant or you need more financial assistance, you can apply for a low- interest disaster loan from the Small Business Administration. Like grants, these loans are only available to those in a federally declared disaster area and should be used for disaster-recovery expenses. However, unlike grants, these are loans that do have to be repaid. You can apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov.
Although everyone in a flood plane is encouraged to invest in flood insurance, the government understands that this is not always possible, and that insurance does not necessarily cover all disaster-related expenses. It is important to know all the available options in order to get your life back on track following a flood.