Recovering from Disaster

A financial guide for dealing with the aftermath of fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters

Fires, hurricanes and other disasters are by definition devastating. And after the trauma of the event itself, there are usually financial challenges to cope with. NerdWallet can help — whether it’s with advice on navigating your insurance coverage, tips for working with lenders, help with paying for repairs or ways to save your business.

Explore the articles below for resources that can help you get back on your feet.


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How to get help with your bills

Guide to Paying Your Bills When You Can't Pay Your Bills

Guide to paying bills when you can’t pay your bills

Resources for help with rent, food, child care, utilities, medical expenses and more.

Quick ways to borrow money in an emergency

Ways to borrow the same day or the same week — plus options that don’t involve borrowing at all.


How to get your credit disaster-ready 

Planning ahead positions you to recover — and helps your finances in general. Your effort won’t be wasted.


How to handle credit card bills in an emergency

The right moves with creditors after a crisis can save headaches later.

How to Rebound From Natural Disaster Debt

Ways to rebound from natural disaster debt

Here’s how to handle debt so you can move on with your life.

These online lenders relax rules for hurricane-hit customers

A roundup of changes announced by each lender and contact information.

Get relief from college costs after a disaster

You may be eligible for additional financial aid or a break in loan payments.

5 Tips For Dealing With Your Credit Card Payments If You’re Laid Off

How to manage your credit if you’re out of work

Steps you can take to avoid doing any long-term damage.

Help with lost items

What do I do if I lost my wallet?

What do I do if I’ve lost my wallet?

If your wallet’s gone missing, waste no time protecting yourself. Here are 10 things to know and do as soon as you can.

NerdWallet’s Best Prepaid Debit Cards 2017

Replacing a lost debit card

Take these steps to limit damage, starting with reporting the loss to your bank or credit union.

New card in town

What to do if you lose your credit card

First: Don’t panic. Second: Pick up the phone.

Weather Life’s Storms With an Affordable Disaster Kit

How to build a disaster kit

First: Don’t panic. Second: Pick up the phone.

How to find money

How to Get Money If You Don’t Have Flood Insurance

How to get money if you don’t have flood insurance

If a flood wrecks your house and belongings, and you don’t have flood insurance, here’s what you can do.


19 ways to find fast cash and more savings

Strategies to earn money quickly and cut your spending.

Tax breaks for dire situations

There are ways to write off incidents of property loss and theft.

Rules for withdrawing from a traditional IRA

If you’re in a true bind, there are some exceptions to the restrictions on borrowing from a traditional IRA.

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Rules for withdrawing from a Roth IRA

Rules for Roth IRA withdrawals are more flexible than those for other accounts — but it’s important to stick by them to avoid a penalty.

Early withdrawals from a 401(k)

If you must withdraw money from your workplace retirement account, here’s how to go about it wisely.


Beware scam artists in disaster’s wake

Avoid dishonest contractors, fake charities and other schemes with these tips.

How to pay for damage at home

7 ways to cover the cost of emergency home repairs

7 ways to cover the cost of emergency home repairs

Where to turn to pay for home repairs, including government assistance, disaster relief agencies and tapping your home’s equity.


What to do after a disaster hits your home, mortgage

Here are frequently asked questions and answers for homeowners after disaster strikes.

How to Appeal a Denied Flood Insurance Claim

Flood insurance claim denied? Don’t panic; appeal

How to appeal a denied NFIP claim.

Mortgage Rates Today, Jan. 9: Little to No Change; FHA Cuts Insurance Premiums

Personal loans for work on your home

In some situations, a personal loan can be a convenient option for repairs and improvements.


9 kinds of damage home insurance won’t cover

Even the best policies won’t compensate you for everything.

How Much More It Costs to Own vs. Rent in Your State

Understanding renters insurance

What it covers and how reimbursement works.

Understanding your insurance

How insurers are mobilizing to help Harvey victims

How insurers are mobilizing to help Harvey victims

Tips for contacting agents and filing claims.

Can You Buy Last-Minute Flood Insurance?

Can you buy last-minute hurricane insurance?

How to do it and roadblocks to watch out for.

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Health insurers ease rules for Harvey victims

The Texas Department of Insurance recommends insurers waive out-of-network restrictions, extend claim deadlines and waive other requirements.

Flood insurance comes with a waiting period

But there are a few situations in which coverage can kick in without a delay.


Don’t let these flood insurance limits surprise you

Knowing your policy’s limits will help prevent unpleasant surprises when it’s time to file a claim.


7 things you didn’t know car insurance covers

For instance, damage due to earthquakes and floods may be covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy.

How to get help for your business

How to limit your business’s down time after a disaster

Limit your business’s down time after a disaster

Steps to start the recovery process, beginning with an important phone call.

How to get an SBA disaster loan for your business

The Small Business Administration offers low-interest loans of up to $2 million to businesses in federally designated disaster areas.

What Is a Money Market Account? Should I Get One?

Emergency business loans: compare your options

Tips to guide you as you weigh financing options.

Additional resources