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FEMA Appeals Program Recovers $681,000 for Homeowners Thanks to Key Partnership with Dow

Time and predictability matter in the face of increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events. FEMA funding is a critical component of long-term recovery for impacted homeowners and renters. However, applying for and appealing FEMA awards has become a burdensome, overcomplicated, and disheartening process over the years, leaving many homeowners with insufficient FEMA awards to rebuild their damaged and uninhabitable homes. Research by the Washington Post shows that most disaster survivors don’t advocate for themselves following an initial rejection or low award amount–only 3% of FEMA applicants appeal their decisions. Recognizing this issue, SBP launched its FEMA Appeals program in 2020 to help disaster survivors in every community across the US and its territories access more funding to support their immediate and long-term needs.

For example, after Hurricane Ida's deadly Category 4 winds tore across the United States and the Caribbean in September of 2021, the communities living within the hurricane's path were left with over $75.25 billion in damages, marking the beginning of the complex, long-term process of disaster recovery for countless families and individuals. Louisiana, the home of SBP's headquarters, was particularly devastated by the hurricane's impact, so our disaster teams deployed immediately. Thanks to a timely $50,000 investment from Dow, SBP's FEMA Appeals Program was able to assist 115 disaster survivors in these communities, collectively increasing their FEMA awards by $681,000. This significant improvement in available funding highlights a large-scale systemic issue with the FEMA application process that SBP actively seeks to address, not just by assisting homeowners with the appeals process but also through our advocacy work.

Dow's investment in SBP's mission has enabled our team to return Hurricane Ida survivors to the safety and security of their homes, preventing families from reaching their emotional breaking points. To date, SBP's Appeals Program has helped survivors reclaim $7,991.83 per household on average in additional FEMA funds to support their recovery, representing a 65.7% increase in their total FEMA award. Thank you, Dow, for your continued support of SBP and for leading the way in corporate responsibility, ultimately helping disaster survivors in the United States navigate recovery and shrinking the time between disaster and recovery.