Tips from FEMA

Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

Billion Dollar Disaster map

The U.S. has sustained 360 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2023). The total cost of these 360 events exceeds $2.570 trillion.

In 2023 (as of July 11), there have been 12 confirmed weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect United States. These events included 1 flooding event, 10 severe storm events, and 1 winter storm event. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 100 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. The 1980–2022 annual average is 8.1 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2018–2022) is 18.0 events (CPI-adjusted).

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Keeping vital records safe can make disaster recovery easier – From the IRS

Natural disasters can strike without warning. Sometimes even the most diligent taxpayers are left without the important personal and financial records they need. People may need documentation for tax purposes, federal or state assistance programs or insurance claims.

Here are some steps that can help them reconstruct their important records.

Tax records

  • Taxpayers can get free federal tax return transcripts immediately using Get Transcript on
  • They can also order transcripts by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts.
  • People who use a tax professional to file taxes should keep their contact information in a safe place.

Financial statements
Financial statements from credit card companies or banks are usually available online. People can also contact their bank to get paper copies of statements.

Property records

  • Homeownersmay be able to contact the title company, escrow company or bank that handled the purchase of their home or other property to get documents related to their home.
  • Many property records are available online from tax assessors or other government agencies. Check local government websites for information.
  • Taxpayers who made home improvements can get in touch with the contractors who did the work and ask for statements to verify the work and cost. They can also get written descriptions from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
  • For inherited property, taxpayers can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, taxpayers can contact the attorney who handled the trust.
  • Insurance companies often keep records related to property maintained in a home. Taxpayers should keep their property insurance contacts handy.
  • Car owners can research the current fair-market value of most vehicles via resources available online and at most libraries. These include Kelley’s Blue Book, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Edmunds.

More information:
Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts
Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook
Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook
Publication 976, Disaster Relief
Small Business Administration


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Stay Connected with FEMA Disaster Operations

Click here for current FEMA disaster information.

Has Your FEMA Claim Been Denied

Doing Business with FEMA | – 

Learn about the four-step process your organization can follow to do business with FEMA, in accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Act.

SBA Office of Disaster Assistance

The Office of Disaster Assistance’s mission is to provide low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.

Resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration:
·    Disaster Assistance Loans For Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations
·    Disaster Assistance Loans for Homeowners and Renters
·    What Houses of Worship Need to Know About the FEMA Disaster Aid Process

Various Tips and Tools from FEMA

·    Tools to Recover | – FEMA has collected frequently used tools and information to help you communicate and get started with the recovery process.

·    Frequently Asked Questions About Disasters – Get answers to frequently asked questions about emergency shelters, disaster assistance, flood insurance and more.

·    Disaster Multimedia Toolkit | – The resources on this page are ideal for external partners and media looking for disaster recovery content to share on social media during and after a disaster, including: social graphics, flyers and announcer scripts, accessible videos and animations in multiple languages.

·    Disaster Text Messaging Resource Kit – Communication can be limited following a disaster. This resource kit offers text messaging information you can share with survivors when only text messaging is available in a service area.

·    FEMA in Your Language | – Disaster survivors can find translated information about disaster assistance programs, emergency preparedness, response and recovery activities, and flood insurance. The information comes in various formats and is available for sharing and downloading. Additional resources will be added periodically, so please visit often.

·    Save Your Family Treasures | – FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution co-sponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of more than 60 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies.

·    CDC colleagues have great safety material in multiple languages: Health and Safety Concerns for All Disasters|Natural Disasters and Severe Weather (

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program:

How to Start Filing Your Claim   

How to File a Flood Insurance Claim English | Spanish 
Starting Your Recovery: FEMA’s Flood Insurance Claims Process English | Spanish 
Wind vs. Water Damage English | Spanish

To help people better understand the National Flood Insurance Program’s new methodology, FEMA published two videos in a series explaining rating variables and how they affect premiums. The first of these new videosRisk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action: Rating Variables (Part 2) complements Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action: Rating Variables (Part 1). The new video describes how a structure’s location and the way it is built impact a policyholder’s premium. It also explains why certain building decisions can affect the final rate determination. The other new video details the nuances of building and content coverage.

Whether you’re a renter or a property owner, take a moment to consider adding flood insurance to your financial safety net. Bottom line: basic home and renters policies don’t cover flood repairs, but you can fill that protection gap. Not sure if you have flood risk? Take this quiz.

Home insurance prices are at an all-time high in many parts of the US today, but protecting your assets is still so important. If you’re not in a high flood risk area, adding that protection won’t be a budget buster. If you have an NFIP policy but are considering dropping it, make an informed decision before you do. The fact is…all states have some flood risk.

Flood insurance details:

• You can add flood coverage through a private flood insurer or the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”).
• There will be a waiting period from the date you buy it to the date it kicks in. (30 days for an NFIP policy).
• Flood insurance can be very affordable, depending on your location.
• Use this link to learn about your area’s flood risk, contact an insurance agent or call the NFIP at 877-336-2627.
• If you have a mortgage and your home is in a “Special Hazard Flood Zone” your lender will require flood insurance.
• An NFIP policy provides $250,000 max to repair flood damage to your home.
• An NFIP policy provides $100,000 max for belongings but not automatically. You have to ask for and pay for this additional coverage.
• An NFIP policy will NOT cover temporary rent if your home is uninhabitable after a flood. Most private flood policies cover that expense.

Contact your insurance agent or company and ask:

• How much will it cost to insure my home and belongings for flood damage?
• Can you help me compare the cost, coverages, and options in an NFIP versus adding coverage to my existing policy through a “flood endorsement” or private flood insurer?
• Would a flood rider or endorsement give me more than $250,000 in coverage? Will it cover temporary rent?


FEMA has collected frequently used tools and information to help you communicate and get started with the recovery process. Go to


Short Videos:

·    How a Disaster gets Declared – YouTube

·    The Importance of Applying for SBA – YouTube

·    Verifying Home Ownership or Occupancy – YouTube

·    How to Save Your Family Treasures After a Disaster – YouTube

·    FEMA Public Assistance for Houses of Worship – YouTube

·    FEMA Accessible: Individuals and Households Program Disability Cap – YouTube

Key Infographics:

·    Survivors’ Road to Recovery Graphics |

·    Disaster Assistance Sequence of Delivery Graphics |

·    Disaster Survivor Checklist Graphics |

·    Displaced From Your Rental Property Graphics |

·    What to Expect After You Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance (In-Person Inspection) Graphics |

·    Beware of Fraud and Scams Graphics |

·    Common Reasons for Denial Graphics |

·    Civil Rights Graphics |

·    Difference Between Individual Assistance Versus Public Assistance Grant Programs Graphics |

·    Verifying Homeownership Occupancy Flyers |

·    How to Write An Appeal Graphics |

·    What Houses of Worship Need to Know About the FEMA Disaster Aid Process Flyer |