FEMA Hertiage Emergency National Task Force
USDA Disaster Assistance Program
Financial Assistance and Insurance
FEMA Heritage Emergency National Task Force
FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution cosponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies.
United States Department of Agriculture Disaster Assistance Programs
Property and Shelter
When floods destroy or severely damage residential property, USDA Rural Development can assist with providing priority hardship application processing for single family housing. Under a disaster designation, USDA Rural Development can issue a priority letter for next available multi-family housing units. While these programs do not normally have disaster assistance authority, many of USDA Rural Development programs can help provide financial relief to small businesses hit by natural disasters, including low-interest loans to community facilities, water environmental programs, businesses and cooperatives and to rural utilities. More information can be found on the Rural Development website or by contacting the State Offices.
Food Safety and Food Assistance
Severe weather forecasts often present the possibility of power outages that could compromise the safety of stored food. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recommends that consumers take the necessary steps before, during, and after a power outage to reduce food waste and minimize the risk of foodborne illness. FSIS offers tips for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe and a brochure that can be downloaded and printed for reference at home. If you have questions about the safety of food in your home, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET or visit AskKaren.gov to chat live with a food safety specialist, available in English and Spanish.
Owners of meat and poultry producing businesses who have questions or concerns may contact the FSIS Small Plant Help Desk by phone at 1-877-FSIS-HELP (1-877-374-7435), by email at email@example.com, or 24/7 online at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/svsp/sphelpdesk.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) coordinates with state, local and voluntary organizations to provide food for shelters and other mass feeding sites. Under certain circumstances, states also may request to operate a disaster household distribution program to distribute USDA Foods directly to households in need. In addition, FNS may approve a state’s request to implement a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) when the President declares a major disaster for individual assistance under the Stafford Act in areas affected by a disaster. State agencies may also request a number of disaster-related SNAP waivers to help provide temporary assistance to impacted households already receiving SNAP benefits at the time of the disaster.
Resources for disaster feeding partners as well as available FNS disaster nutrition assistance can be found on the FNS Disaster Assistance website.
Crop and Livestock Loss
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers many safety-net programs to help producers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) and the Tree Assistance Program. The FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. Producers located in counties that received a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Compensation also is available to producers who purchased coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting. USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn what documents can help the local office expedite assistance, such as farm records, receipts and pictures of damages or losses.
Producers should use form FSA-576, Notice of Loss, to report prevented planting and failed acres in order to establish or retain FSA program eligibility. Prevented planting acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). Producers must file a Notice of Loss for failed acres on all crops including grasses in a timely fashion, often within 15 days of the occurrence or when the losses become apparent. Producers of hand-harvested crops must notify FSA of damage or loss within 72 hours of when the date of damage or loss first becomes apparent.
Producers with coverage through the RMA administered federal crop insurance program should contact their crop insurance agent. Those who purchased crop insurance will be paid for covered losses. Producers should report crop damage within 72 hours of damage discovery and follow up in writing within 15 days.
Community Recovery Resources
For declared natural disasters that lead to imminent threats to life and property, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can assist local government sponsors with the cost of implementing recovery efforts like debris removal and streambank stabilization to address natural resource concerns and hazards through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. NRCS staff is coordinating with state partners to complete damage assessments in preparation for sponsor assistance requests. NRCS also can help producers with damaged agricultural lands caused by natural disasters such as floods. The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial assistance to repair and prevent excessive soil erosion that can result from high rainfall events and flooding. Conservation practices supported through EQIP protect the land and aid in recovery, can build the natural resource base, and might help mitigate loss in future events.
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides support for disaster education through the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). EDEN is a collaborative multi-state effort with land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension Services across the country, using research-based education and resources to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters. EDEN’s goal is to improve the nation’s ability to mitigate, prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters. EDEN equips county-based Extension educators to share research-based resources in local disaster management and recovery efforts. The EDEN website offers a searchable database of Extension professionals, resources, member universities and disaster agency websites, education materials to help people deal with a wide range of hazards, and food and agricultural defense educational resources.
For complete details and eligibility requirements regarding USDA’s disaster assistance programs, contact a local USDA Service Center. More information about USDA disaster assistance as well as other disaster resources is available on the USDA Disaster Resource Center website. In a continuing effort to better serve the public, USDA has developed a new and improved central resource for disaster related materials. In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other disaster-focused organizations, USDA created a Disaster Resource Center website, utilizing a new online searchable knowledgebase. This knowledgebase is a collection of disaster-related resources that are powered by agents with subject-matter expertise. The Disaster Resource Center website and web tool now provide an easy access point to find USDA disaster information and assistance.
Colorado Housing Search is a website created specifically to assist people in finding temporary housing during disaster relief. It is a great resource for both flood victims, survivors, property owners and landlords to search and post homes and apartments for rent and sale.
Depending on the damage to your property, you may be rebuilding or doing work on your home. There are several helpful guides available to pick the right contractors, protecting yourself from scams and making changes to the area around your home.
Financial and Insurance Assistance
FEMA Public Assistance - Local Community Assistance
There are a large number of resources and activities available to help local communities recover from flood impacts. An overview of FEMA's Public Assistance and community efforts is linked below.
>> FEMA Public Assistance - Local Community Assistance
For Businesses and Farmers
Businesses of all kinds have been affected by the flood. In addition to the individual assistance available, businesses may also qualify for a number of disaster assistance loans. A business may also face unique challenges as it relates to equipment that need to be restarted or assessed for post-flood safe operation.
>> Business and Farmers Information
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
If you lost your job or are unemployed due to the Colorado floods you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
>> Colorado Disaster Unemployment Assistance Information
Financial and Insurance Assistance
If you are impacted by the recent flooding, there are several potential avenues available to seek financial and insurance assistance. Since the floods are federally declared disasters, you may be entitled for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) individual assistance. If you have flood insurance, you may also seek additional guidance and information on how to best maximize the benefits available to you.
>> Financial and Insurance Assistance Information
Medicine and Counseling
Taking care of yourself, your family and friends is essential to the recovery process. Medicines, personal protective equipment and managing stress are necessary to ensuring your personal health and safety are in check during challenging times.
Mental Health Hotline
The Colorado Crisis Services hotline is available 24-hours-a-day -- every day -- and is available to everyone. People can talk to a mental health professional or peer counselor by calling 844-493-TALK (5288).
Legal and Assistance
As a result of the floods or other disasters, you may be in need of legal assistance or in replacing important documents and lost papers. Below you will find links to information and legal assistance for disaster survivors.