TIPS: Make your FEMA grant work for you

Local News

The logo of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seen at its headquarters August 27, 2011 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- A FEMA grant gives a boost to rebuilding and recovery from a disaster. When you apply for a grant through FEMA assistance, you explained your situation and now it is time to work on your recovery using the funds for disaster-related expenses.

If you applied, you received a letter about the grant explains what you can spend the money on. Among approved expenses are:

  • Repairs to make a home habitable
  • Rental assistance to pay for a temporary place to stay
  • Repair or replacement of a disaster-damaged essential vehicle
  • Medical care for an injury caused by the disaster
  • Replacing clothing, occupational tools and educational materials
  • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster

FEMA grants don’t have to be repaid but it does come with guidelines:

  • You need to document how you spend the funds
  • Keep receipts, invoices for at least three years
  • Keep funds separate from your travel, entertainment, and regular living expenses

If you spend the grant on anything other than disaster related purposes, you may be denied assistance the next time there is a disaster. Or in some cases, FEMA may ask that the money be returned.

To help you get started on repairs, FEMA provides a resource through its mitigation department. Experts can provide information on disaster clean-up from flood and wind damage, selecting and working with contractors and on choosing building materials. Community Education and Outreach (CEO) Specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 1-833-FEMA-4US or send an email to FEMA-LAmit@fema.dhs.gov.

For the latest information on severe storms, tornadoes and flooding visit fema.gov/disaster/4606. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

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