No place in the world is disaster proof. Mother Nature unleashes her horrors globally and year-round via hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, floods, blizzards and more.
This special Natural Disasters Additional Resources Page, part of the overall Storm Warnings collection of Don't Mess With Taxes blog posts about disasters and the associated tax implications, provides information beyond my posts on the previous pages on how to cope with Mother Nature when she turns into Mommy Dearest.
So, since time is of the essence when you're looking for natural disaster data, here goes with some added links to sites in the wide weather internet that can help us deal with the various natural disasters that most of us will face at some point in our lives.
The Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, but the storms don't have calendars and have popped up before and after those dates.
Hurricanes are the only officially named storms, the Weather Channel's broader moniker efforts notwithstanding. The National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center, or NHC, assigns storm names when a tropical system reaches tropical storm strength, that is, it has sustained winds of 39 miles per hour.
For the 2021 hurricane season, which started early for the 7th straight year, the storms will be named Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.
You can track tropical storm and hurricane alerts at the NHC. The South Florida Water Management District also provides a "spaghetti runs" page of the various paths projected for each storm. If you don't have computer access, check out the National Weather Service's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios.
With any type of natural disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, gets involved. You can check FEMA's running list of disaster declarations to see if your storm damages are eligible for federal help.
Other federal disaster information and help is available at DisasterAssistance.gov, Ready.gov, Benefits.gov and the Small Business Administration. Ready.gov also has special pages for each of the many types of natural disasters.
The American Red Cross is major provider of help for disaster survivors. Its online disaster newsroom keeps track of areas in need. The nonprofit also has online resources for those needing assistance or looking for family or friends in threatened areas.
Finally, there is, of course, the Internal Revenue Service. The agency has a wide variety of disaster-related tax information, including its continually updated list of states where special tax disaster relief is available.
The IRS' Around the Nation page also provides tax-specific news to local areas, primarily on disaster relief or tax provisions that affect certain states.
Also be sure to check out IRS Publication 547, with details on tax aspects of all casualties, thefts and losses.
Looking for more or other disaster info? Check out the separate Storm Warning pages on preparing for a disaster, steps to make your recovery smoother and quicker, how to donate to groups that help disaster survivors and general storm stories and information.
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