Prepare for Emergencies with Benefits.gov!
This month marks the 11th annual National Preparedness Month, a program sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The goal of the program is to educate and better prepare the public for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks. Benefits.gov encourages fellow Americans to take action and participate in activities across the nation to promote emergency preparedness.

To help you and your family better prepare for a disaster, here are some tips:

  • Get an emergency kit which includes emergency water supplies, food supplies and a recommended emergency supply kit.
  • Make an emergency plan with your friends and family in the event you are not together. Discuss plans to contact, meet, and for more information read how to develop a family plan.
  • Be informed by checking all media sources which will help provide emergency information regarding shelter and evacuation orders.
  • Get involved by taking first aid and emergency training, participating in community service exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders.
In addition to preparing for emergency situations, here are some programs offered to help in the event of an emergency:

  • Disaster Legal Services (DLS) - DLS provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or as a result of a presidentially declared major disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their disaster-related need.
  • Rental Units - FEMA Housing Portal - Displaced individuals/families can search for available rental housing identified by Federal agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Veterans Administration, along with private organizations and the public. Visit the housing portal page to search for available rental units in your region.
  • Temporary Housing - Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program (TSA) - This program provides short-term lodging assistance for evacuees who are not able to return home for an extended or indeterminate period of time following a disaster. Before applying, you must register with FEMA, pass identity verification, prove that your primary residence is located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA, and indicate that you have been displaced from and are not currently living in your primary residence.
To expand your search for emergency assistance programs beyond the ones mentioned here, visit our homepage and try Benefit Finder or browse the programs by selecting "Benefits" at the top of the page to search by category, state, or Federal agency.