The term disaster means different things to different people. If your house has damage and you do not have insurance to cover it, you would say you have a disaster. However, federal law defines disaster much more broadly. To get federal assistance the damage must be very serious and widespread affecting a number of people. A foot of water in your home is serious to you, but it does not meet the criteria for a federal disaster. A disaster as defined by the federal government occurs when hundreds of homes, or more, are destroyed or have sustained major damage.

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