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Disaster Survivors Step By Step Action Plan To Find Assistance


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Disaster Survivors Step By Step Action Plan To Find Assistance

  1. 1. The Lifeboat Disaster Survivors Step by Step Action Plan To Find AssistanceThere are many ways to get assistance within every state and county. Thefollowing steps will explain how to search for assistance you may qualify forfrom public agencies and from organizations in your community.Step 1 – Where do I start?Call 1-800-745-0243 - The Department of Homeland Security/FEMA to registerfor Disaster Assistance If you aredisplaced or looking for family – contact the National Emergency LocatorService – 1-800-588-9822. FEMA - and file a claim.Online Registration: • Registration: • 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) • TTY 1-800-462-7585 (speech & hearing impaired)To read their Help After Disaster booklet – click below: your Homeowners, Renter, and/or Auto Insurance Companies and filea claim. If you owned a home – had damage or had to evacuate your home –immediately contact your homeowner’s insurance company and file a claim.Some companies may write you a check immediately for “Loss of Use” of yourhome and put cash in hand immediately.Contact your Employer - If you were employed, try to contact the benefitsdepartment of the corporate office of your employer. See if your company offerscompensation to you – some are paying their employees for a period of time.Also check on your insurance benefits – if your insurance is in effect now andhow long you will have the insurance – and if you can use out of state.Contact your Health Insurance Company – Confirm that you have healthcoverage – let them know where you are staying and if out of state find out whatfacilities/doctors you can use – and where you can fill prescriptions.Contact your Mortgage Company - Call your mortgage company to let themknow you have filed a homeowners insurance claim and ask if payments can bedeferred or added to the end of the mortgage – or if you can pay interest onlypayments for a specified time, or if they will spread any past due amounts overthe next few months. FHA & Freddie Mac are deferring payments for 3 1blog: http://www.thelifeboat.infoCopyright © 2011
  2. 2. The LifeboatContact the Post Office – have your mail forwarded to your current address.They can deliver mail to shelters.Contact the Social Security Department - to continue your Social Securitybenefits, file for benefits if you have lost a loved one from a disaster, or if youhave critical injuries from a disaster.Go to website: or call 1-800-772-1213 from7AM to 7PM, Monday to Friday:Missing Children & Parent Links: National Missing Child Locator **IMPORTANT** - Ask All Agencies You Contact:Financial Assistance – Is there any financial assistance available to me and myfamily?Healthcare Options - Are there any healthcare programs that my familyqualifies for or is there any free healthcare in my area?Employment - What organizations can help me with career counseling and jobplacement in my area?Step 2 – What are my immediate needs? (housing, food, clothing)Who can help me?Contact Red Cross - enter zip code on left side ofwebpage and find your local Red Cross office to apply for assistance. Also –enter the names of your family members for loved ones who may be looking foryou (see right side of webpage). Contact them – they can help with temporaryhousing, food, clothing, etc.Contact United Way - national united way 211 - enter zip code and find your localUnited Way office. Contact them – they have lists of agencies that offerassistance. Also ask them about 2-1-1 websites or phone numbers – many stateshave these systems in place and can give you information quickly to find manytypes of assistance.Contact Salvation Army - Survivor Assistance - 1-888-363-2769 2blog: http://www.thelifeboat.infoCopyright © 2011
  3. 3. The LifeboatNotes:____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Step 3 – Employment & Filing for UnemploymentContact the Department of Labor in your area – - look upoffices in your area or call 1-877-US-2JOBS.These offices have both Career Assistance – Job Banks – and will help you file forunemployment. Be sure to check with their Career Center for help with resumewriting, job search, training, and more.Career Assistance – There are many websites to help you in your search foremployment.Job Websites Advice 3blog: http://www.thelifeboat.infoCopyright © 2011
  4. 4. The Lifeboat__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Step 4 – Apply for public assistance.File for Public Assistance – check to see which agency (ex: Department ofFamily and Children Services, Human Resources, etc. within the county you are stayinghandles filing for food stamps, WIC, TANF, and other programs.Call ahead of time to see if you need an appointment to apply for assistance.When you apply take the following paperwork (if you don’t have these papers ask ifyou can still apply):***Very important: Take a Picture ID, Social Security card for all people inhousehold, Green Card/immigration papersCopy of bills – mortgage, utilities, car payments, insurance, childcare bills, etc.Proof of income for household (both spouses if married) – pay stubs for at least amonth, child support payments, alimony payments, etc.****• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – Based on very low or no income for the household• Food Stamps – You may qualify even if employed – based on total income for household and expenses• Childcare Assistance – Based on total income of household (check to see if your state offers this)• Medicaid – Insurance for uninsured – based on income. If you do not qualify for Medicare ask about and state health programs for your children)• WIC – Food program for children 4 years old and under. For more info: your local Health Department – Some counties require that you applyfor WIC at their health department. You can also call and see what services theyprovide – for example: immunizations, hearing screenings, doctor visits, etc.Administration for Children and Families: tofind an disaster assistance office in your 4blog: http://www.thelifeboat.infoCopyright © 2011
  5. 5. The LifeboatNotes:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Step 5 - Public Schools/Free School Lunch – you can enroll your children in thePublic Schools within the county you are staying. Speak with a counselor and letthem know your needs – many schools are collecting items for disaster victims.They also may have information for local organizations that can help you. Besure to apply for the School Lunch Program - obtain an application from yourschool or cafeteria manager to apply for the free lunch program. If on foodstamps – you automatically qualify for the free lunch program. (Be sure to fill inyour case number on the form to expedite).Notes:____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Step 6 – Agencies that Offer Assistance - click the agencies below to find outwhat assistance to Disaster Survivors.• Catholic Charities• Child Fund Interational• Food for the Hungry• Heifer International• Mercy Corps• Operation Blessing• Oxfam America• Red Cross• Save the Children• United Wayemail: 5blog: http://www.thelifeboat.infoCopyright © 2011
  6. 6. The Lifeboat• World Concern• World Hope International• World ReliefNotes:____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Step 7 - BillsIt is very important to contact your creditors and utility companies to let themknow you are a Disaster Survivor and you need to work out arrangements.Often they will work out partial payment arrangements or put payments ontothe end of your loan giving you some time to get back on your feet.• Contact your bank concerning any loans you have – and ask if payment can be deferred or added to the end of the loan – if a grace period can be extended while you file insurance claims on home and auto.• Pay your bills with cash on hand – you can get assistance for food easier than for money.• Look into a loan on your 401K if necessary.• If you still owe Taxes – contact the IRS and ask for an extension – they have setup special arrangements for Disaster Survivors.• Contact National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 1-800-388-2227 or - click on Member Agency Locator and find help in your area – they will work with you and your creditors and work out payment arrangements.Notes:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________email: 6blog: http://www.thelifeboat.infoCopyright © 2011
  7. 7. The Lifeboat__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Last but not least - When going through difficult times – it is important to findtime to relax and to have fun - it can help you keep a positive attitude.Some great ideas – free or low-cost in any place in the U.S.:• Look through your paper and find free events in your community – concerts – art exhibits – parades.• Contact your Parks and Recreation Department and see if they have any free activities for families.• The National Parks Department offers events at parks throughout your nation. Go to their website for more information: (also check Parks website for your state).• Pack a picnic and go to a favorite spot outdoors for dinner – enjoy a sunset.• Go to your local library and check out books and videos. There is no charge for checking out videos – pop some popcorn and have a movie night!• Go to your Chamber of Commerce and get a guide to your county – make a trip to see historic sites.• Contact local churches and find out what activities they have for your family.• Go to a local high school ball game –- bring a thermos filled with hot chocolate to a football game – and feel the enthusiasm!• A good way to reduce stress – EXERCISE - take a walk – or ride a bike – jog – swim at a city pool…• Volunteer – in helping others you will find great reward: United We Serve -• If you are not a member of a church – visit local churches. The messages can be very inspiring and can really make a difference in your week.Remember – God loves you – and is there for you during this difficult time. “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to Me and I will give you rest... rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:28-30 Disclaimer: This plan does not guarantee service or assistance but serves as a guide for disaster victims to agencies that may offer 7blog: http://www.thelifeboat.infoCopyright © 2011