The Three Step Process to Disaster Assistance 

Release Date: April 13, 2009
Release Number: 1829-019

» More Information on North Dakota Severe Storms and Flooding

» 2009 Region VIII News Releases

» En Español

Bismarck, N.D. – North Dakotans in the 26 declared counties who sustained damage or property losses as a result of severe storms and flooding that began on March 13 should apply for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - even if they have insurance or believe they will not qualify for assistance. The application process is simple, but important, because insurance might not cover everything, and FEMA may provide assistance that can address specific needs.

Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs or other serious disaster-related expenses, such as medical, dental, funeral or burial expenses, not covered by insurance or other sources.

Also, homeowners, renters, and business owners may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help North Dakotans recover from losses not covered by insurance, grants or other sources.

Following are the three basic steps to getting disaster assistance from FEMA.

Step One: Registration

Register by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Specialists are available from 6 a.m. to midnight (CDT) to help applicants through the registration process. In addition, residents can register online at

Step Two: Inspections

An applicant will receive an identification number and will need that number to refer to his or her application. In a few days, a FEMA-contracted inspector will call the applicant to set up an appointment to inspect the damaged property. There is no charge for this service, but it is a necessary step to determine damages. All inspectors wear FEMA identification badges and are required to show it to the applicant before the inspection process.

As part of the inspection process, the applicant must provide proof of ownership or occupancy:

Step Three: Receiving Assistance

FEMA will issue disaster assistance funds to eligible applicants. If the applicant has provided banking information to FEMA, the funds will be deposited directly into the applicant's bank account. This option can often speed up the process of receiving assistance.

For any assistance along the way - with help filling out the applications, general questions, or progress reports - call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585.

The following North Dakota counties were added for Individual Assistance on April 10: Adams, Barnes, Billings, Burleigh, Cass, Dickey, Emmons, Foster, Grand Forks, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Mercer, Morton, Nelson, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Towner, Traill and Williams.

Last Modified: Monday, 13-Apr-2009 21:03:13