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Congress never intended for federal disaster assistance to cover all your losses. The intent of federal disaster assistance is to help with your essential needs. It provides help in answering the question – what do you really need to be safe, secure, and sanitary? These needs are based on the experiences of thousands of disaster victims. After the President declares a disaster, FEMA inspectors will come to your home and inspect both your real and personal property and record your losses in a database. Your eligibility for assistance awards will be based on that inspection. Jewelry, antiques, stereos, and other non-essential items are not eligible for assistance. Likewise, recreational property, second homes, and out-buildings are also not essential.

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