Hurricane Harvey Damage ReliefAugust 28, 2017
As Houston citizens and those in surrounding areas work to pull through this tragedy, we are here to offer our advice on damage relief and financial assistance.
KLR shares deep concern for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The aftermath of the destructive flooding in Houston is astounding, and citizens of Houston and surrounding areas will need many resources to recover from this tragedy. Below are some related resources to assist during the recovery process.
Damage relief resources
For damage relief you can register online at Disaster Assistance.gov, or call 1-800-FEMA (3362).
Speech or hearing-impaired individuals can call 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers are operating daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.
Your safety is the main concern, but as you’re recovering from the damage, there are things you should keep in mind regarding finances, taxes, and home repairs.
- Make only the repairs that will prevent further damage (i.e. covering holes in the roof). The insurance claims adjuster will need to see the damage to be able to deliver the most helpful solution, so don’t make extensive repairs or get rid of damaged high-price items. Take plenty of pictures and make a list of the damage.
- Save all receipts for replacement housing including food costs, additional costs for transportation, and storage expenses. You may be eligible to receive an advance from the insurance company for these expenses.
- File the claim as quickly as possible and document all interactions with insurance companies, FEMA, or anyone else related to helping with the disaster.
What about taxes?
People who live in major disaster zones may be eligible to delay tax filings and payments without penalty. The IRS typically identifies people in these zones; however if you live outside the designated area but still need relief, you can call the IRS to request it. Hurricane Harvey victims in parts of Texas have until January 31st to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the IRS recently announced.
Retirement plan help
The IRS has also announced (Announcement 2017 - 11) that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Harvey and members of their families. This broad-based relief stipulates that a retirement plan sponsor can allow a victim of Hurricane Harvey to take a hardship distribution or borrow up to the specified statutory limits from the victim’s retirement plan. An individual who lives outside the disaster area can also take out a retirement plan loan or hardship distribution if they want to use the money to help a son, daughter, parent, grandparent or other dependent who lived or worked in the disaster area.
If you were not affected by the storm and would like to help others in need donations can be made to The American Red Cross.
Reach out to us for further financial guidance.