Recovering Financially After a Natural Disaster
Tips and resources on recovering financially after a natural disaster.
Assess the Damage and Document Losses
- Make a detailed list of property damages, including furniture, electronics, clothing, and personal belongings.
- Take clear and comprehensive photographs of property damage, with multiple angles and close-ups.
- Keep receipts for any expenses related to recovery.
File Any Insurance Claims Promptly
- File a damage claim and provide all necessary documentation and evidence.
How to file an auto insurance claim
How to file a homeowner insurance claim
- For more help, contact the Washington State Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-562-6900
Contact Your Lenders
- If you can't pay your mortgage or credit card bill because of the disaster, your lender may be able to help you.
- Contact your lenders and discuss the possibility of loan modifications or forbearance.
Check for Government Aid Programs Available in Your Area
- Research FEMA assistance and other local resources for disaster victims.
Washington Emergency Management Division
- Follow application procedures and deadlines for financial assistance.
Avoiding Fraud and Scams
Red flags to watch out for:
- People who want you to pay up-front fees to help you claim services and benefits or get loans.
- Contractors selling repairs door-to-door, especially when they ask for payment up front or offer deep discounts.
- Con artists posing as government employees, insurance adjusters, law enforcement officials, or bank employees. Government employees will never charge to help you get a benefit or service and will never ask for payment or financial information.
- Limited-time offers - anyone who offers you something and tells you it is for a very limited time may be trying to pressure you into something you could later regret.