Key Steps to Recover Documents for FEMA Disaster Assistance

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Many Arkansans lost important items in the severe storms between April 26 and May 19, including documents the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and FEMA need to process disaster assistance applications.

If papers are gone – such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, tax records, insurance policies, etc.— many can be replaced by contacting sources of information, such as vital records offices, Social Security agencies, insurance offices and other organizations or agencies.

Disaster survivors need to provide proof of citizenship, proof of property ownership or rental occupancy, Social Security numbers and other personal information when registering for disaster assistance. But documentation can be submitted after applying for assistance. The deadline to register is only two weeks off—Aug. 14. Below are some sources to replace lost documents

Proof of address/residency: Contact your local utility company to obtain a recent bill.Birth certificates: In Arkansas, contact the Arkansas Department of Health Vital Records. Go to for information, or call 501-661-2336 or 800-637-9314. The office has a high volume of requests; expect delays.Copies of insurance policies: Contact your insurance agent or the insurance company.State income tax records and replacement driver’s licenses or vehicle titles: Visit any state revenue office (Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration). Visit online for downloadable numbers of each agency. Numbers vary by county.Social Security cards: Call the U.S. Social Security office at 800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT. For TTY users the number is 800-325-0778, or log onto for more information.Medicare cards: Phone: 800-772-1213 or go to ssa.govFederal tax records: Call the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, or log onto Card (Food Stamps): Arkansas Department of Human Services, 501-682-1001 or Records: National Archives, 866-272-6272, Option 1, or archives.govNational Archives Records: 866-272-6272, Card replacement: Phone: 800-375-5283 or go to Click on “green card” at left on the home pageReal Estate and property records (mortgage documents, deeds, etc.): Contact a real estate agent, escrow agent or your mortgage company.Medical and prescription records: Medical and prescription records are tracked electronically; contact your doctor or clinic.Saving family records: The National Archives ( has detailed technical information on how to salvage flood-damaged records and other information of interest to disaster survivors.

To register with FEMA:

Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call
800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS (Video Relay Service), call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.Go online to (also in Spanish)Download the FEMA mobile app (available in Spanish) at Google Play or the Apple App Store.Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available in ASL at

There are three ways to apply to SBA after you register with FEMA:

Call SBA at 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call
800 877-8339.Apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at: by mail: Complete a paper application and mail it to SBA at
14925 Kingsport Road, Ft. Worth TX 76155-2243.

For updates on the Arkansas response and recovery, follow the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (@AR_Emergencies) on Twitter and Facebook and Additional information is available at


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Original author: Carmen.Castro
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