Step 1 – Accept Your Situation

Step 2 – Take Inventory

Step 3 – Define Your Goal

Step 4 – Develop Your Plan

Step 5 – Take Action

FEMA Assistance

Create a FEMA Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) account –


Determine if you have employment income. has some ways to make quick money online.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Benefits – Hawaii

Workers unemployed due to the disaster may apply for regular unemployment insurance benefits by filing online at Self-employed persons and those not qualifying for regular unemployment insurance benefits who cannot perform services due to the disaster must apply in-person for DUA benefits.

Cash Flow, Bills and Debt

  • Consult your mobile banking site. Stop unnecessary expenses. For example, if your home is temporarily uninhabitable or totally destroyed, notify the utility company and other service companies, such as the phone company, so they can stop billing immediately.
  • Estimate the amount of income and emergency savings you have to pay bills while you recover from the disaster, then prioritize your bills. Paying your insurance premiums and mortgage should be a top priority.
  • Call any creditors and negotiate. Most creditors will be willing to work with you.

Insurance Claims

  • Contact your insurance agent, broker or insurance company as soon as you can to report how, when and where the damage occurred. Provide a general description of the damage.
  • If you have insurance, you should file a claim with your insurance company when you apply for FEMA assistance. FEMA cannot aid with losses already covered by insurance. If your insurance does not cover all your losses or is delayed, you may be eligible for FEMA assistance regarding your unmet needs.
  • Keep receipts for all additional expenses that you may incur such as lodging, repairs or other supplies.
  • Make copies of all documents and pictures given to your claims adjuster or insurance company. Besides insurance, there are many questions related to taxes, expenses and determining just how you will recover from a personal financial point of view.

Replacing Vital Documents

If you lost documents in the fire, here’s a reminder list. You will need documents to apply for FEMA.

  • Driver’s License: Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Government Issued: ID Contact the issuing authority
  • Insurance Policies: Your insurance agent or company
  • Military Discharge: Department of Veterans Affairs, Papers 1-800-827-1000 or TDD/TTY 1-800-829-4833
  • Passports: US Department of State
  • Birth, Death, Marriage Certificates: Bureau of Records in the appropriate state
  • Social Security or Medicare Cards: Local Social Security office 1-800-772-1213 or TDD/TTY 1-800-325-0778
  • Credit Cards: Issuing financial institution
  • Titles to Deeds: Records department of your area
  • Stocks and Bonds: Issuing company or broker
  • Wills: Your attorney
  • Income Tax Record: The IRS center where filed, your accountant or 1-800-829-1040
  • Citizenship Papers: Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, 1-800-375-5283
  • Mortgage Information: Lending Institution

Disaster Loans

Different low interest disaster loans are offered for homeowners and renters by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Loan types include home and personal property, business, and economic injury. Call the SBA Customer Service Center 1-800-659-2955. (Small Business Administration)

The FHA 203(h) loan program allows people whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged by a natural disaster to get a new mortgage loan with zero down payment, provided their previous home was in a federally-declared disaster. (Federal Housing Administration). / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Tax Law

Keep records. There are special tax law provisions that may help you recover financially after a disaster.

Lorri Allison Craig, CFP®, MBA – 541 420-0667