Weather Emergencies

It’s one thing to prepare your family, pets, and property for extreme weather situations. It’s another to protect your personal information and finances from scammers who use weather emergencies to cheat people. This webpage has information to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from different aspects of a weather emergency.

  1. Preparing for a Weather Emergency
  2. Coping After a Weather Emergency: Keep Your Guard Up
  3. Contacting Families, Friends, and Key Businesses After a Weather Emergency
  4. Coping with a Weather Emergency: Paying Your Mortgage

Scam Alerts

Scam artists often use times of disaster as a golden opportunity to make a quick profit.

Advance-Fee Loans

Some advance-fee loan and credit card offers have tell-tale signs that can help you avoid getting ripped off.

Charity Scams

If you’re donating money to a charity, here’s how to make sure your donation goes to the causes you support.

Job Scams

Here’s how to tell whether a job lead may be a scam.

Rental Listing Scams

Rip-off artists use rental listings to get you to pay in advance for a place to live or vacation.

Rebuilding

Debris Clean-Up and Removal Scams After a Weather Emergency

Be skeptical of people promising immediate clean-up and debris removal after a weather emergency. Tips to protect yourself, your property, and your money.

Rebuilding Your Home or Office After a Weather Emergency

Tips for safely returning to your weather-damaged home and hiring a home repair contractor.

After a Weather Emergency: Repair or Replace Appliances?

Deciding whether to repair or replace damaged gas and electric appliances can be difficult. Here are some factors to consider.

Coping with Flooding

After a flood, your home and its contents may look beyond hope. But experts say many of your belongings can be restored. If you do things right, your flooded home can be cleaned up, dried out, rebuilt, and reoccupied.

After a Weather Emergency: Is It Safe to Drink the Water?

Monitor local news media for instructions from health authorities about water safety and purification. Avoid offers for "free" home water testing, and be skeptical of claims that an in-home test shows your water is unsafe. If you have questions about the safety of your water, contact your local public health authority.

Pest Control After a Weather Emergency

Tips for hiring a pest control professional.

Auto Repair Basics

Take the scare out of auto repair with these tips about how your vehicle works, how to identify common problems, and how to select a good mechanic.

Your Rights

Guarding Against Identity Theft After a Weather Emergency

As you recover from the effects of a disaster, you will need to share your personal information to get relief benefits from government agencies or other organizations, or replacement identification documents.

Dealing with a Weather Emergency: Getting Back on Your Feet Financially

List of contacts and practical steps to help you regain your financial footing.

Protections for In-Home Purchases: The Cooling-Off Rule

You have three days to cancel purchases of $25 or more made in your home or at a location that isn’t the seller’s permanent place of business.

Federal Resources

Department of Housing and Urban Development

1-888-297-8685 (assistance with housing)

Department of Labor

Call 1-866-4-USA-DOL, 1-866-487-2365 for more information on registering for unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment assistance. Available in English and Spanish 24 hours a day.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

1-877-ASK-FDIC (information about bank accounts, lost financial records, ATM cards, direct deposits and other bank information)

Federal Housing Administration

1-888-297-8685 (assistance with housing)

Internal Revenue Service

Call 1-800-829-1040 TDD 1-800-829-4059 to find out about tax relief, get a copy of your tax return transcript and receive a disaster tax loss kit.

USA.gov

Call 1-800-FED-INFO or visit the National Contact Center if you have questions about government services, but don't know what agency to contact.

National Resources

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NBIC)

The NCIB maintains a free database that includes flood damage and other information so you can investigate a car’s history by its vehicle identification number (VIN).