Where to get help: Resources for residents after the derecho

Local governments and other organizations provided many resources for residents in the aftermath of the Aug. 10 derecho. But now the transition is to long-term help for recovery and debris removal. Below are helpful information and links. 

The 11 counties designated for FEMA Individual Assistance are: Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story and Tama.

» FINANCIAL HELP: Where and how to apply for FEMA aid and other financial help

» MORE RESOURCES: Directory of government and nonprofit help for residents

Updated Sept. 28, 2020

Debris removal continues in Cedar Rapids area

Crews continue to remove trees and other debris after the storm. For more information, including maps of progress in Cedar Rapids and Marion, visit these links:

Cedar Rapids: 


Residents have till Oct. 19 to file for FEMA storm-assistance 

Residents seeking help to recover from the Aug. 10 derecho have until Oct. 19 to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Those who suffered losses in Linn County and 10 other counties can apply for assistance through FEMA’s Individual and Households Program. It provides financial assistance for homeowners and individuals to help with disaster-related recovery needs, such as grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs, uninsured personal property losses and medical expenses caused by the disaster. The federal aid is requested for other counties but has not yet been approved. The deadline to register is Oct. 19.

To apply:

• Call 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 for TTY users. Users of 711 or Video Relay Service may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Iowa time seven days a week, for now.

 Or register online at

 Or visit a disaster recovery center in Cedar Rapids (details below).

You’ll need this information to complete your registration:

 Social Security Number (SSN) OR the SSN of a minor child in the household who is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien

• Annual household income

 Contact information: Phone number, mailing address, email address*, and damaged home address (*You must provide an email address if you want to review your registration status online. If you do not provide an email address, you will be required to contact FEMA for any updates to your registration.)

 Insurance Information (coverage, insurance company name, etc.)

 Bank account information (if you are eligible to receive financial assistance, the money can be deposited in your account)

Displaced Iowans may qualify for reimbursement of lodging expenses

Iowans who have registered with FEMA may also be eligible for reimbursement if they paid out-of-pocket expenses for temporary lodging because their primary residences sustained damage from the Aug. 10 derecho. 

Temporary lodging includes hotels, motels, or other short-term lodging while an applicant is displaced from his or her primary residence.

Lodging expenses may be eligible for reimbursement if an applicant:

Registers with FEMA.

 Passes identity verification.

 Verifies occupancy in a primary residence within a designated county.

 Verifies that the primary residence is uninhabitable or inaccessible.

 Incurs disaster-related temporary lodging expenses.

 Does not have insurance that would cover lodging.

 Did not receive lodging assistance during the same time frame.

Reimbursement funds are available for eligible applicants under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.

Applicants approved for lodging reimbursement must submit hotel/motel receipts that show a zero balance to FEMA to receive payment. Reimbursement will not cover incidental costs such as phone calls, laundry, internet, food, movies or pet care.

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