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Disaster Assistance Teams Meeting Survivors Where They Are

Sometimes, after a disaster, applying for FEMA assistance can be a challenge. Disaster Recovery Centers are not always convenient, bad internet connection prevents using DisasterAssistance.gov, or there are long holds on the FEMA Helpline.

To ensure survivors can apply for assistance, FEMA sends teams of Disaster Survivor Assistants into many neighborhoods affected by a disaster, often going door-to-door to assist survivors.

These teams will be easily recognizable by their official photo identification. If you meet people offering assistance, first ask to see their ID before giving any personal information. They may have FEMA clothing, but that can be easily faked. 

They are there helping you and your neighbors apply for assistance and providing other information to get your recovery started. Representatives are also available for Town Hall meetings and Community Events upon request.

There are several ways to apply:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Help is available in most languages. The Helpline is available daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET.
  • Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov (also in Spanish).
  • Download the FEMA mobile app (also in Spanish), available at Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Disaster assistance may provide temporary help and a place to stay while you build your recovery plan. Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may be able to help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure.