ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

FOOD AND NUTRITION ASSISTANCE

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RESOURCE FOR:
ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates two supplemental nutrition programs – Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as D-SNAP) and Summer Food Service Program, providing food benefits to low-income individuals and families. In a disaster, these programs may expand resources and eligibility in the affected area.

DISASTER SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (D-SNAP)

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) operates year-round. When the president declares a disaster area eligible for Individual Assistance, the local state government can request USDA approval to operate D-SNAP, an expanded version of SNAP.


If you already receive benefits from the USDA’s year-round Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), you may qualify for increased benefits from D-SNAP if

  • Your current benefits are less than the monthly maximum
     

  • You lost food as a result of the disaster

Even if you are not a SNAP client, you may qualify for benefits from D-SNAP if you had one of these disaster-related expenses:

  • Home or business repairs
     

  • Temporary shelter expenses
     

  • Evacuation or relocation expenses
     

  • Home or business protection
     

  • Disaster-related personal injury, including funeral expenses
     

  • Lost or no access to income due to the disaster, including reduced, terminated, or delayed receipt of income, for a large part of the benefit period
     

  • In some cases, food loss after a disaster like flooding or power outages

APPLICATION PROCESS

​After a disaster, you can apply in person for D-SNAP benefits at sites in your community. State agencies will publicize the location of application sites, their days of operation, and the eligibility requirements through local media. There is also an online directory of SNAP benefits available in each state. Benefits are paid in the form of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that can be used like a debit card to buy food at most local grocery stores.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

SFSP provides free, nutritious meals to children from low-income families when school is not in session. After a disaster, state agencies, school food authorities, and sponsors may open emergency feeding sites.

APPLICATION PROCESS

No application is required. All children age 18 and under who visit an approved SFSP feeding site can get free meals. Meals are also available for those over 18 who are in school programs for people with disabilities.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

RURAL DEVELOPMENT DISASTER ASSISTANCE

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RESOURCE FOR:
ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESSES, ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS IN RURAL AREAS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) runs housing programs that offer loans, grants and rent relief to low-income individuals. Their economic development programs are open to arts organization or businesses. These programs are only available in rural areas. The definition of “rural” differs from one program to another. Many programs operate year-round, but increase resources, expand eligibility, or give priority to applicants in disaster areas.

LOANS AND GRANTS FOR HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

If you are a low-income homeowner or rental tenant in a rural area (population of 35,000 or fewer), you may be able to get a grant or loan from one of the following programs. These programs are always available, but applicants from designated disaster areas receive priority.

  • Home Repair Loan Program offers loans for home repairs at one percent interest with up to 20 years’ repayment.
     

  • Rural Housing Direct Loan Program provides loans for the purchase of a home, or to make repairs to a home you already own.
     

  • Home Repair Grant Program offers seniors age 62 and older, who do not have repayment ability for a loan, a loan and grant combination to make repairs and improvements. The maximum lifetime grant amount is $7,500.

APPLICATION PROCESS

For both loans and grants, go to:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/ programs-services/single-family- housing-direct-home-loans or contact USDA staff at 720-544-2919.

MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING PROGRAM

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

The USDA finances affordable rental housing in rural areas for low-income families, farmworkers, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In a disaster, USDA provides rental assistance to tenants of these properties to keep rent payments below 30 percent of the tenant’s income.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Contact USDA staff at 720-544-2952.

COMMUNITY FACILITIES LOAN AND GRANT PROGRAM

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

If you are a state or local government, nonprofit organization, or federally recognized tribe that owns or operates an essential public facility such as a community center or school in a rural area or town of up to 20,000 in population, you may be eligible for this program. It offers loans and some grant funding for the construction, renovation, or purchase and installation of equipment for essential public or community facilities. These funds can be used to repair or rebuild community facilities and replace damaged equipment after a disaster.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Apply directly to the USDA: rd.usda.gov/ programs-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program/co or contact USDA staff at 720-544-2909.

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

If you are a business (nonprofit or for-profit), federally recognized tribe, or public body in a city with a population of less than 50,000, or in an area that is not part of an incorporated city or town, you may be eligible for the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program. USDA may guarantee up to 80 percent on loans of $200,000 to $5 million, and up to 70 percent on loans up to $10 million. Funds may be used for equipment, real estate, working capital, and refinancing. This pro- gram is always available, but if your business needs funds to recover from damages caused by a natural disaster, the USDA guarantee may make it easier to get a loan.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Rates and terms are negotiated between the business and the lender. The lender requests the USDA guarantee on the loan. USDA charges an initial guarantee fee equal to 3 percent of the guaranteed amount plus an annual renewal fee equal to 0.5 percent of the guaranteed amount. You can find more information at rd.usda.gov/programs-ser- vices/business-industry-loan-guarantees or contact USDA staff at 720-544-2909.

The USDA also provides seed capital to Revolving Loan Funds operated by nonprofits and public bodies, known as intermediaries. These lenders finance small and emerging businesses and community development projects in rural areas. USDA can put rural businesses and nonprofits in contact with intermediary lenders to obtain financing to help them recover from the damages caused by a disaster. Contact USDA staff at 720- 544-2909.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

DISASTER ASSISTANCE: STUDENT LOANS

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RESOURCE FOR:
ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS WHO ARE STUDENTS AND FEDERAL LOAN BORROWERS

FOR ALL STUDENTS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

If you are a student enrolled in college or career school and have been impacted by a federally declared disaster, you may:

  • Transfer your current federal student loan to a different school
     

  • Apply for a new or increased student loan if your financial needs have changed as a result of the disaster
     

  • Replace lost documents you need to apply for or transfer financial aid, or make other arrangements for documentation

APPLICATION PROCESS

Contact the financial aid office of the college or career school where you are currently enrolled, or plan to enroll, so that they can request your federal financial aid records. Your school will decide whether to make changes to financial aid, eligibility, or application requirements.

FOR CURRENT FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

If you are a federal student loan borrower whose ability to make payments or maintain your status as an active student has been impacted by a federally declared disaster, you may qualify for:

  • Forbearance (delay) of your loan payments
     

  • An extension of deadlines for submitting required documents
     

  • Temporary suspension of collection on your defaulted student loan
     

  • Extended “in-school” status if you were not able to complete the school year due to a natural disaster

The length of any forbearance, extension, or suspension varies with the type of loan and your specific circumstances.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The federal loan servicing team checks the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website daily to identify areas affected by federally declared disasters. After a disaster, the loan servicing team quickly reaches out to borrowers in the impacted areas to notify them of their options. Institutions that issue loans also post information on their websites regarding options. Contact your lender if they have not contacted you.

FAQs and information on resources for students affected by specific disasters can be found on the Department of Education (DOE) website at: studentaid.gov/announcements-events/ disaster

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (SAMHSA)

DISASTER BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RESOURCES

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RESOURCE FOR:
ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS EXPERIENCING EMOTIONAL DISTRESS RELATED TO A DISASTER

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

In the event of a disaster, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers immediate crisis counseling and support through the Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990. The Helpline is a 24/7, 365-days-a-year, national hotline for people who are experiencing emotional dis- tress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This service is toll-free and confidential. It is available in over 100 languages to all residents of the United States and its territories.


Stress, anxiety, and depression are common reactions after a disaster. The Disaster Distress Helpline is staffed by trained counselors from a network of crisis call centers located across the United States. These counselors provide:

  • Crisis counseling for people in emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster, from tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires to incidents of mass violence
     

  • Information on how to recognize distress and its effects on individuals and families
     

  • Tips for healthy coping
     

  • Referrals to local crisis call centers for additional follow-up care and support

APPLICATION PROCESS

This service is free and available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-985-5990. Suicide prevention and substance abuse services are also available year-round. More information on the Disaster Distress Helpline and its services, including links to information in languages other than English, is available at samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline.

Tip sheets to help first responders and survivors are included in the directory of Disaster Behavioral Health Resources (samhsa.gov/dtac/disaster-behavioral-health-resources), part of the Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC). DTAC provides information to professionals working in the field of disaster behavioral health.

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 

DISASTER LEGAL SERVICES

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RESOURCE FOR:
ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS IN NEED OF LEGAL SERVICES AS THE RESULT OF A DISASTER

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

The Disaster Legal Services (DLS) program provides free legal help to survivors of a presidentially declared disaster who meet income limits. If you cannot afford legal services for your disaster-related needs, DLS may be able to help with:

  • Insurance claims for medical bills, loss of property, and loss of life
     

  • New wills, powers of attorney, and other legal papers lost during the disaster
     

  • Home-repair contracts and contractors
     

  • Problems with landlords
     

  • Proof of home ownership
     

  • FEMA appeals

APPLICATION PROCESS

Call DLS at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. When you call, you’ll get disaster-specific help and information. You’ll also learn how to get other legal help.

To qualify for DLS, you must be a low-income survivor of a presidentially declared disaster. DLS attorneys can only provide advice for cases that will not generate a fee. If your case may generate a fee, you will be given the name of your local lawyer referral service.

For information on DLS and other non-government sources of legal aid in a disaster, visit the DLS website: disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/forms-of-assistance/4464

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT DISASTER RECOVERY PROGRAM

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RESOURCE FOR:
ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESSES, ARTISTS, AND CULTURAL WORKERS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

When the President declares a major disaster, Congress may appropriate funds to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help cities, counties, and states affected by the disaster rebuild and start the recovery process. This Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) assistance may be used for a broad range of recovery activities. Funded activities must directly contribute to the community’s recovery from the impacts of the disaster. Activities might include rebuilding housing or infra- structure or providing economic assistance to businesses. HUD directs CDBG-DR funds to communities and neighborhoods that otherwise might not recover due to limited resources.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Individuals, organizations, and businesses cannot receive CDBG-DR funds directly from HUD. Funds are awarded to state and local governments (grantees) that in turn make grants in the area affected by the disaster. Those who may receive grant money include state agencies, nonprofit organizations, economic development agencies, citizens, and businesses.


Information on all CDBG-DR active grants and grant-makers can be found at hudexchange.info/programs/cdbg-dr/cdbg-dr-grantee-contact-information/#view-all-disasters or you can call 202-708-3587 to speak with a HUD representative. Every local grant-making program will have an official website with application information, disaster recovery activities, and an Action Plan describing how funds may be used.

CDBG-DR funds cannot duplicate funding available from federal, state, or local governments, private and nonprofit organizations, insurance proceeds, or any other source of assistance. CDBG-DR funding supplements other federal recovery assistance programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). CDBG-DR funds may be used to match other federal resources and can be combined with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Social Services Block Grants (SSBGs).

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 

FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE

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RESOURCE FOR:
ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS WHO OWN THEIR HOMES


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and much of the mortgage industry are committed to assisting borrowers whose lives and livelihoods are thrown into turmoil by a disaster. HUD has two programs that can assist homeowners whose homes have been damaged or who cannot make their FHA-insured mortgage payments due to a presidentially declared disaster.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE FOR DISASTER VICTIMS, SECTION 203(H)

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgages made by qualified lenders to survivors of a major disaster whose homes were destroyed or so badly damaged that they must be rebuilt or replaced. This insurance makes it easier for disaster survivors to get mortgages. Insured mortgages may be used to finance the purchase or reconstruction of a one-family home that will be the principal residence of the homeowner.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Apply for a home mortgage from an FHA- approved lending institution. This may be a bank, mortgage company, or savings and loan association. Borrowers must apply within one year of the disaster declaration. HUD sets limits on the amount that may be insured. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website has more information and a list of approved FHA lenders.

DISASTER RELIEF FOR FHA HOMEOWNERS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

If you have an FHA-insured mortgage and can’t make your mortgage payments because of the disaster, you may qualify for a moratorium on foreclosure. During the term of a moratorium, your loan may not be referred to foreclosure. To qualify, you must be in one of the following groups:

  • If you or your family live within the geographic boundaries of a presidentially-declared disaster area, you are automatically covered by a 90-day foreclosure moratorium.
     

  • If you are a household member of someone who is deceased, missing, or injured directly due to the disaster, you qualify for a moratorium.
     

  • If your financial ability to pay your mortgage debt was directly or substantially affected by a disaster, you qualify for a moratorium.
     

FHA’s foreclosure moratorium only applies to borrowers in default. If you are current, you should continue to make your mortgage payment whenever possible. HUD instructs FHA lenders to use reasonable judgment in determining who is an “affected borrower.” If you are unable to pay your mortgage as a result of the disaster, your lender may take other actions to help you retain your home such as waiving late fees or delaying or modifying payments.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Contact your lender as soon as possible to let them know about your situation. Your lender may request supporting documentation such as financial or medical records to determine if you meet the relief criteria. For more detailed information on the criteria and process, go to the HUD website.

If you have a mortgage that is not FHA-insured, you should still contact your lender to see if you are eligible for relief. If you are at risk of losing your home because of the disaster, your lender may stop or delay initiation of foreclosure for 90 days. Lenders may also waive late fees for borrowers who may become delinquent on their loans as a result of a disaster.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

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RESOURCE FOR:
ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides temporary benefits if you lost your job or had to stop operating a business you own as the result of a presidentially declared disaster. You must have lived, worked, or been scheduled to work in the area at the time of the disaster. DUA is administered at the state level. It extends benefits to workers who don’t qualify for regular unemployment.


To determine if you are eligible for DUA, you must first contact your state’s unemployment agency to file a claim for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Do this as soon as possible. If you qualify for regular unemployment, you are probably not eligible for DUA.


If you are not eligible for regular unemployment, you may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • No longer have a job or place to work
     

  • Can't reach your job site
     

  • Can’t work because of damage to the job site
     

  • Were about to start a new job but, due to the disaster, the job no longer exists
     

  • Can't work because of an injury caused by the disaster
     

  • Became the major support for a household because the head of household died due to the disaster

You must be available and able to work,
unless you

  • Have an injury caused by the disaster, or
     

  • Are taking steps to return to self-employment

APPLICATION PROCESS

After a disaster, your state will publish information about DUA availability. As soon as possible, contact your state’s unemployment agency to file a claim for benefits. You can use the CareerOneStop Unemployment Benefits Finder to find the state agency you need. In some states, you can file online or by phone.


If you evacuated or moved to another state, file a claim in the state where the disaster occurred, or contact the agency in the state you’re living in for claim-filing help. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s DUA page to learn more.

FEMA AND THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

HERITAGE EMERGENCY NATIONAL TASK FORCE (HENTF)

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RESOURCE FOR:
ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESSES, ARTISTS, AND CULTURAL WORKERS THAT COLLECT AND PRESERVE CULTURAL HERITAGE

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) is an information resource. It does not provide funding. HENTF is a partnership of 60 national service organizations and federal agencies co-sponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution. Together, they work to protect cultural heritage in the nation’s states, tribal lands, territories, and local communities from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. Through the HENTF website, you have direct access to information and resources to help individuals and organizations prepare for and respond to a disaster. These resources may be useful to museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites.

Before and after a disaster, HENTF:

  • Provides expert guidance and/or information resources to cultural stewards, first responders, and emergency managers working to protect cultural and historic
    resources

     

  • Collects and shares disaster-specific information with cultural stewards, first responders, and emergency managers to support state and federal response efforts
     

  • Provides information to help individuals and families protect, stabilize, and recover treasured possessions
     

  • Provides education and training to better prepare the cultural community and the emergency management community to work together to address disasters

APPLICATION PROCESS

These free resources are available to any- one at any time. HENTF maintains an online directory that contains links to guidance, professional advice, and information. Types of information include:

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

DISASTER RESPONSE AND EMERGENCY FUNDING

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RESOURCE FOR:
ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESSES, ARTISTS, AND CULTURAL WORKERS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

In the event of a disaster, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) generally works through the state arts agency in the affected area to provide support for artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Arts Endowment funds sup- port costs not covered by FEMA, the SBA, private insurance, or other funders and may be used to help support expenses already allowed for NEA grants. In response to disasters, this often includes expenses such as: purchase or replacement of supplies and equipment for artistic or administrative purposes; repair and conservation of artistic and cultural materials such as costumes, sets, and instruments; rental of venues or equipment; projects and productions in alternate locations due to damage of existing space; salaries, wages, and benefits for organizational staff in the event of business disruption; design fees for construction or renovation (but not construction costs); access accommodations.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Because the NEA works on a case-by-case basis with the relevant state arts agency in response to disasters, there is no formal NEA application process. If there is a declared disaster in your area, check with your state arts agency about available funding and how to apply.

The NEA plays an active role in disaster recovery by participating in working groups of federal agencies, national service organizations, and philanthropic foundations. In the aftermath of a disaster, the agency:

  • Supports disaster recovery efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA)
     

  • Serves on the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER) steering committee, is a support- ing agency of FEMA’s Natural and Cultural Resources Recovery Support Function, and participates in FEMA’s Economic Recovery Support Function
     

  • Vets the cultural sector’s concerns with relevant federal and national partners (FEMA, the SBA, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, etc.)
     

  • Strengthens communication at the local, state, and national levels and monitors developments on the ground through state and local arts agencies.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

DISASTER RESPONSE AND EMERGENCY FUNDING

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RESOURCE FOR:
ORGANIZATIONS

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

In the event of a disaster, if the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has funds available, state or local humanities agencies in the affected area may be able to apply for relief funding. If funding is awarded, the state or local agencies will distribute these funds to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. State and territorial humanities councils may also play a role in distributing NEH funds and supporting local communities after a disaster. NEH funding can only be used for expenses not covered by FEMA, the SBA, private insurance, or other funders.


NEH grants have funded emergency repairs of structural, water, and electrical damage to cultural facilities. They have helped salvage and protect valuable historical documents, artworks, archival records, and museum collections so that these cultural treasures remain available to future generations. They have paid for consultants and other experts to assist impacted institutions. They have given economic relief to cultural organizations whose operations have been disrupted by a disaster, to protect jobs, maintain operations, and ensure the survival of the nation’s cultural sector.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The NEH does not maintain standing disaster relief programs. Funding may be diverted from regularly appropriated funds on a case-by-case basis following a disaster. On rare occasions, the federal government may allocate emergency funding to the NEH in response to a specific high-impact national disaster. The NEH will generally work with state or local humanities agencies in the affected area, or create a temporary NEH program to distribute the funds.

If there is a declared disaster in your area, check with your state humanities agency or local humanities council about available funding and how to apply, or monitor the NEH website for announcements about special programs.

Check NEH.gov to see if the NEH itself has an emergency grant program. To apply for a grant from NEH, eligible organizations must pre-register with SAM.gov and Grants.gov. Register as soon as possible; the registration process can take several weeks. Step-by-step instructions on how to register are available on the Grants.gov website.

In addition to emergency funding, the NEH supports ongoing disaster preparedness in cultural heritage organizations, including training, educational materials, mitigation efforts, and development of mutual support networks. Information about these programs, including application details, are available on the NEH website.