Recovering from a Disaster

Post-Disaster Tips

Before Cleaning Up

Call your insurance carrier to discuss measures you must take to qualify for compensation before you begin cleaning up or rebuilding.

Repair Receipts

Keep invoices or receipts if you are cleaning up or repairing damages. Take pictures of any damaged equipment or facilities. These may be needed for claiming compensation later.

Insurance Claims

Get compensation for damages. Contact your insurance company to claim damaged inventory, possessions, structures, and deferred income.


Get access to other loans. There are many federal, state, and local organizations that can help provide access to various loan products that may also assist you in getting your business back up and running. Please see Borrowing Money for some of those options.

Federal Disaster Relief

File a Disaster Relief Application with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) run Disaster Assistance Improvement Program for federally-declared disasters and receive a loan of up to $2 million. You can also apply for disaster relief with the U.S. Small Business Administration (see featured resources below).

Lost Income

Help your employees recover lost income through Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). For more information on this federal program, click here.  

Obtain New Permits

Obtain new permits and licenses if you made major repairs, replaced major equipment, or bought the establishment following a disaster. The pre-disaster permits and licenses will not cover new conditions, new equipment, or new owners. Please see Permits & Licenses for any of your permit questions. 

Reopen Your Doors

Reopen your doors. You’ve cleaned up and are about to begin operating your business again. Make sure your pre-disaster operating permits, licenses, and certificates are still valid. Then plan to keep things running smoothly in the future, no matter what the next turn brings.

Featured Resources
View for more resources on recovering from a disaster.