Satellite image of Hurricane Ida entering the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (Click the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service image to see looping version).
Everyone in Hurricane Ida's path better already be on the road out of there or in or heading to some storm safe shelter. This one could be really, really bad.
So for this weekend's Saturday Shout Out, I'm turning to items on last-minute preparation for and recovery after a major disaster.
Time's short, so here goes, starting with some of Uncle Sam's official government assistance websites.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the first place storm-struck individuals and businesses turn. The federal disaster aid programs provided by the FEMA are among the first the federal government offer to those affected by major disasters.
Small Business Administration (SBA) provide financial assistance to homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes located in a declared disaster area. Financial assistance is available in the form of low-interest, long-term loans for losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.
DisasterAssistance.gov is a one stop Web portal that consolidates information from 17 U.S. government agencies. That include a link where taxpayers can apply for Small Business Administration loans through online applications, receive referral information on forms of assistance that do not have online applications, or check the progress and status of their applications online.
READY.gov is the place to go before disaster strikes. The website has information on how individuals and business can prepare for and respond to all kinds of disasters and emergencies.
GovBenefits.gov provides storm survivors and disaster relief workers info on the many disaster relief programs available. Perhaps you have suffered damage to a home or business, lost your job, or experienced crop damage due to a natural disaster. You'll find help for that and more at GovBenefits.gov's listings of national benefit and assistance programs geared toward disaster recovery.
After a major disaster, the Internal Revenue Service typically provides tax relief to affected individuals and business owners. This usually is the extension of deadlines that fell during the storm, but there also is a way to file for a tax deduction related to your major disaster losses.
The IRS has an extensive online collection of information and links to disaster assistance and emergency relief for both individuals and businesses.
It includes information on preparing for disasters, some frequently asked tax questions people have after major storms, and a running list of places around the nation where the IRS is offering special disaster-related tax relief.
And, of course, there's Don't Mess With Taxes. The ol' blog's special Storm Warnings feature. At its introduction page — that's where the linked title will take you — you'll find more links to five additional pages of posts with information on storm and disaster preparation, recovery, donations, general storm stories and information, and more disaster resources.
Since you don't have much time for leisure perusal right now, here are some of the ol' blog's disaster post highlights:
- Disaster season 2021 is here. Get ready!
- 6 hurricane prep tips for businesses
- Atlantic hurricane season starts early for 7th straight year
- Disaster help now, donation tax deduction later
- Considerations in making a major disaster tax claim
- File major disaster claims on Form 4684
- Tracking down tax records to file a disaster claim
- A pre-disaster inventory can pay off when filing insurance or tax claims
- Home basis, not market value, key amount in calculating disaster loss tax claim
If you're hit by a major disaster, I hope this information helps you prepare or get your life back in order afterwards.
But mostly, I hope you stay safe.
Heed your local officials' warnings and get out when they say you should or head to a secured shelter. When any disaster looms, the number one item on your list is taking care of yourself and your family.