August 28, 2020

Disaster recovery guide: What to do if you’ve been affected by a hurricane

Devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Michael is shown from above on Oct. 15, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida.

As individuals and businesses affected by major storms, such as Hurricane Laura, take stock and begin the recovery process, it can be hard to know where to begin.

Allstate has assembled a guide to help people through the recovery process.

Below, we have outlined some of the most helpful information, but you can find the complete Allstate Good Hands Recovery Guide here. And you can download Allstate’s printable hurricane prep checklist here.

How do I let my family, friends and others know I’m safe?

Register yourself on the Red Cross Safe and Well List at American Red Cross so that family and friends know of your well-being. You also can use the database to search for missing loved ones.

Register with or search the Next of Kin National Registry (NOKR) as this emergency contact system can help if you or your family member is missing, injured or deceased. NOKR is the central depository for Emergency Contact information in the U.S. and 87 other countries.

My house flooded. I have flood insurance. How do I report my loss?

Flood protection is provided by the federal government through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a Federal program, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). If you have a flood policy through the NFIP, you can begin the claim process by contacting your homeowners insurance agent or company representative to report your loss.

If you purchased a NFIP policy through an Allstate agency, please call 1-800-54-STORM to start the claim process.

If you purchased a NFIP policy through another insurance provider, please reach out to them directly to start the claim process.

If you did not purchase a flood policy from the NFIP, there may be government assistance programs available through FEMA, some of which are outlined in this card deck (not all-inclusive).

Auto flood protection, in many cases, is covered on most auto insurance policies if you purchased comprehensive coverage. You should contact your insurance company to report flood-related auto losses.


Make sure you have the following information handy:

  • The name of your insurance company
  • Your policy number (if available)
  • A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
  • An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim

In addition to your NFIP claim, you can apply for FEMA disaster assistance at or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362. Due to a large volume of calls, wait times may be longer than normal.

If you have an NFIP policy but do not have your insurance agent’s contact information, contact the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362.

My house flooded, but I don’t have flood insurance. What can I do?

Whether or not you have flood insurance, you can apply for FEMA disaster assistance at or, call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362.

FEMA supports citizens and first responders to build, sustain and improve capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

You will need the following information to complete the registration:

  • Social Security Number—If you do not have a social security number, your household may still be eligible to receive assistance if there is a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National, or Qualified Alien with a Social Security Number)
  • Insurance Information—You will be asked to identify the type(s) of insurance coverage you have.
  • Financial Information—You will be asked to enter your family’s gross total household income at the time of the disaster.
  • Contact Information—Along with the address and phone number of where the damages occurred, you will be asked for information on how FEMA can contact you.
  • *Optional: Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Direct Deposit Information—If you are determined eligible for assistance and would prefer that funds be transferred to your account, you will be asked for your banking information, which includes the institution name, type of account, routing and account number.

Visit for complete details.

I need more help. Where can I go for additional disaster assistance?

    Disaster Unemployment Assistance
    If you lost work due to a federally declared disaster, you may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). FEMA does not administer the DUA program. Please contact your local office of your State’s Unemployment Commission for further information regarding DUA benefits.

    Mandatory Evacuation Expenses
    FEMA does not compensate for evacuation expenses, even if the evacuation was mandatory. However, lodging/hotel expenses may be eligible for reimbursement if the home was damaged to the extent you could not return for an extended period of time, so retain your verifiable hotel/motel lodging receipts.

    Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-Snap)

    • Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) is able to quickly offer short-term food assistance benefits to families suffering in the wake of a disaster. Eligible households receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size. Benefits are issued via an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at most grocery stores.
    • For more information, please visit the FNS website

    Source: & United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Emergency Management

    *This guide contains content for informational purposes only

Read the full Allstate Good Hands Recovery Guide.

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