Given the stories I am hearing and telling every day, I consider myself luckier every day that my derecho damage and inconvenience was quite minimal compared to many others. I lost power and internet for a mere 7 days and the home in which I live, while incurring some siding and roof damage, has remained intact and livable. I personally know a few families who have had to "evacuate" their homes due to damage and stay with relatives, friends, or even in motels.

Many people have had to find a new place to stay, at least temporarily, as they start the process of getting their homes repaired following the devastating storm on August 10. If that includes you and you've had to spend time bunking in a hotel or motel, FEMA could potentially help you with reimbursement, according to KCRG.

You will have to register with FEMA first and then pass an identity verification. You'll need to be able to verify occupancy in a primary residence within a designated county and verify that that primary residence is unlivable or inaccessible. You'll need to show you have incurred disaster-related temporary lodging expenses that weren't cover by insurance and have not received lodging assistance from any other source during the same time frame.

If you're in Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, or Tama counties, you can utilize any of the following methods to apply:

  • Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App for smartphones.
  • Call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Central Time, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

These funds are potentially available under FEMA's "Individuals and Households Program" to residents who have incurred out-of-pocket lodging expenses.

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