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Disaster Recovery: Insurance and Disaster Assistance Checklist

August 22, 2016
Robbie Baker
Robbie Baker

Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Baton Rouge and south Louisiana, and our many customers and colleagues affected by the flooding. In keeping with our company's Commitment to Service, we're providing this checklist from our friends at the law firm of Adams and Reese to assist in recovery efforts and help you get organized for the insurance claim and disaster assistance application process.


Disaster Assistance Checklist


Disaster Assistance Checklist from Adams and Reese

Individuals and families in Louisiana may be eligible for federal assistance if they live, own a business, or reside in the disaster area. Insurance will also play a vital role in the recovery of real property, personal property, and business interests.



FEMA's Individuals and Households Program (IHP) can help safely house flood victims and cover necessary expenses and serious needs following a disaster. This can include temporary housing; repair of structural damage and home components and semi-permanent and permanent home construction; repair, replacement, and cleaning of personal property; and coverage for medical, dental, and funeral expenses.

FEMA Checklist

  • Register with FEMA online at www.fema.gov by clicking on "Navigation" and then selecting "Apply for Assistance," or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
  • Document all extraordinary expenses you would not have incurred but for the disaster. Keep all receipts associated with these expenses.
  • Follow FEMA instructions.


Any homeowner, renter, or auto insurance you possess will be primary to recovery from FEMA or other federal assistance.

Insurance Checklist

  • Call your insurance agent immediately to start the claim process. Don't wait to assess the damage.
  • If you have excess insurance or umbrella coverage, then be sure to ask your agent to notify your excess carrier.
  • Separate the damaged and undamaged items in your home. Do not destroy the damaged items until the claims adjuster has inspected them.
  • Take close-up photographs of damaged rooms, furnishings, and personal property (including automobiles), especially for items you cannot retain until inspection.
  • Prepare an inventory of the damaged contents in your home.
  • Record serial and model numbers of appliances and household equipment.
  • If you have prior pictures of your home, gather those to document your losses.
  • Save receipts from repair, replacement, and clean-up costs, including receipts for rented equipment and contract labor.


For uninsured, non-reimbursable losses, the Small Business Administration provides long-term, low-interest loans to individuals for personal property (up to $40,000) and real property (up to $200,000).

SBA Checklist

  • Apply online at www.sba.gov/loans-grants by clicking on "See What SBA Offers" and then selecting "SBA Loan Programs."
  • Fill out the SBA Disaster Home Loan Application. Do not wait to settle your insurance claims. Fill out this application if you have damage to your home or personal property. FEMA and other federal programs may use the information you provide when making decisions regarding aid. Also, the SBA may disperse funds more quickly than your insurance company.

We're Here to Help

At Hancock and Whitney Bank, we are here to help those recovering from the flooding. Contact a banker for details on the recovery assistance help available. Check out our previous Insights blogs for information and details about disaster resources for individuals and businesses.

This information is provided for educational and illustrative purposes only.