Once a Presidential Disaster Declaration is Declared, What Happens Next?
On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida as a dangerous, Category 4 storm. This hurricane brought tornadoes, winds, and substantial flooding, and was the deadliest hurricane to strike Florida since 1935. Before Hurricane Ian, Hurricane Fiona impacted portions of the Caribbean on September 16 with extreme flooding, including Puerto Rico, then continued its path northward through the United States into eastern Canada. Both hurricanes and other severe weather events caused infrastructure and housing to become damaged or destroyed. For both hurricanes, a Presidential Disaster Declaration was approved, which activates many forms of assistance for the survivors and recovery efforts. Assistance can be broken down into three main categories:
Individual Assistance- Individual assistance is a wide-ranging category of aid or relief provided at the individual or household level for various damages and expenses not covered by insurance.
Public Assistance - FEMA provides public assistance through supplemental grants to entities such as state and local governments, Native American tribes, and Alaskan Native Villages, as well as non-profit organizations that provide critical services such as electricity/power production, water, or medical care. This category of assistance is especially common in the wake of a disaster for debris removal, assistance to repair roads, bridges, water control facilities, public buildings, utilities, parks, and other emergency protective measures.
Hazard Mitigation Assistance- This last category of standardized assistance is unique in that it applies to longer-term recovery and mitigation efforts, providing funding for eligible mitigation efforts that reduce future disaster losses, including long-term solutions that reduce the risk and impact to both people and property.
Understanding how to navigate disaster recovery after an event can be overwhelming. NCDP has developed a series of free, web-based housing disaster recovery trainings to help guide you through this process.