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Recovering From A Disaster?



When disaster strikes, whether natural or man-made, households and businesses alike find themselves facing monumental challenges and making life-changing choices in the blink of an eye. Those decisions are even more daunting when you're reeling from the shock and confusion that always accompanies a disaster. That's why one of the first places you should turn is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. You'll have answers, options and assistance from trained professionals who will get you on the road to recovery and be there for you every step of the way.

A HUD-Certified housing counselor can:

  • Meet with you in person or on the phone
  • Assess your housing needs, financial resources and other concerns short and long term
  • Discuss your unique assistance needs and the resources available to you
  • Connect you with government and local relief efforts and organizations
  • Help communicate with your lender, insurance company and government agencies
  • Assist with necessary paperwork, and applying for mortgage assistance and home repair options
  • Review income, expenses, credit, and debt - reviewing ways to improve your financial situation
  • Create a personalized action plan


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Beware of Cons and Scams

The aftermath of a disaster often includes major damage or loss of your home, business breakdown, financial insecurity, decisions whether to repair, rebuild, or relocate, plus a host of other pressing challenges. While managing the emotional distress of it all, disaster victims must also be vigilant of scammers looking to further victimize them.  A HUD-approved housing counseling agency is a known, trusted resource with only your best interest at heart. 

Protect yourself from scams and fraud by working with your housing counselor, and taking these protective steps:


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- Be wary of anyone soliciting work
- Ask for state and local permits
- Check references
- Don't pay in full upfront
- Get receipts
- FEMA and SBA inspectors never charge for disaster assistance or for inspections

Fake Charities
- Watch out for bogus charitable or disaster relief organizations
- Research unfamiliar charities
- Don't share personal or bank information over the phone

  Identity Theft
- Always keep important papers in a safe place
- Contact your local insurer at the number given to you by the company
- Watch your credit for at least several months
- Stop or forward your mail



Disasters can occur anywhere, though there are regions that are historically more susceptible than others. Whether it's recovery or preparedness, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies provide education on topics that are top-of-mind to homeowners when it comes to disasters. Group classes not only provide important information, they also provide peer support which enables families to feel less alone and learn from others' experiences.

Topics may vary among different housing counseling agencies, and may include:
- Disaster-specific mortgage relief programs
- Home repair do's and don'ts
- Navigating the rental process
- Common disaster scams
- Mold and repair of water damage
- Considering whether to repair or relocate


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