Recovering Financially After a Natural Disaster

A guide to resources to help you recover from a natural disaster such as a flood, earthquake, or wildfire.


Emergency Financial Assistance

After a natural disaster, nonprofits and government agencies may be available to assist. It may take some work to apply, but it may be worth it if you qualify for assistance. 

Insurance Claims

If your home, car, or other property was damaged you will need to file an insurance claim.

Homeowners and Renters

While damage to your home doesn't mean you stop paying your mortgage, there may be options to help you make or change your payments.

If you are a renter and your apartment or home is damaged, there may be emergency housing available.

Deferring Student Loan Payments

If you work or live in a federally-declared disaster area and have a federal student loan, you may be able to delay your payments.

Working with Credit Card Companies and Other Lenders

If the disaster has impacted your ability to make a payment, contact your lender.  Some companies will waive interest and late fees; others may allow you to stretch out or pause monthly payments. 

Avoiding Scams and Fraud

Scammers tend to come out after a natural disaster. Be sure to have your guard up. 

Additional Resources 

Washington Emergency Management Division

Individual and Small Business Assistance


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Dealing with Disaster


American Redcross