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

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 

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.  

Additional resources 

Washington Emergency Management Division

Individual and Small Business Assistance


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Dealing with Disaster