Recent Disaster Information

FEMA Individual Assistance

DES MOINES– Gov. Kim Reynolds received notification September 1st that 10 additional counties that were impacted by the Aug. 10 derecho have been approved for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Individual Assistance Program.
Individuals and business owners in Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama counties may now apply for the FEMA Individual Assistance Program. FEMA Individual Assistance can provide disaster-affected homeowners, renters, and businesses with programs and services to maximize recovery, including assistance with housing, personal property replacement, and medical expenses. Linn County was approved for Individual Assistance on Aug. 20.
Residents in the 11 counties approved for the Individual Assistance Program may apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. TTY users can call 800-462-7585.
In her Aug. 16 request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the governor had requested a total of 27 counties be approved for Individual Assistance. Through further assessment and validation by the state and FEMA, it was determined 16 of those counties did not have sufficient damage to be approved for the Individual Assistance Program, including nine counties which withdrew from consideration: Audubon, Clarke, Grundy, Iowa, Jackson, Jones, Madison, Muscatine, and Washington.
The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program is no longer available in counties where the FEMA Individual Assistance Program has been made available. Visit the Iowa Department of Human Services website at https://dhs.iowa.gov/disaster-assistance-programs for more information.
In addition, damage in eight counties is being validated prior to requesting inclusion in the FEMA Public Assistance Program, providing assistance to public entities and select nonprofit organizations. The following counties will likely be submitted in the next few days for approval for Public Assistance Program funding: Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hardin, Iowa, Jackson, Keokuk, and Washington. If approved, these counties will join the following 16 counties that were approved for Public Assistance funding on Aug. 17 by President Trump: Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama.

Debris Management

If you were impacted by the storm, check out the city/county specific information below regarding how to get rid of storm debris. Be sure to click the link for your city/county name for detailed information to ensure successful collection. For small twigs and branches, please utilize the Compost It! program.

Metro Waste Authority Jurisdiction-Specific Information

Need Help with Debris?

Debris clean up assistance for elderly and persons with disabilities - Call 2-1-1 

Many residents are able to clean up their own debris, have friends, neighbors or family to help, or have resources to hire a company.  However, there are residents without those resources and abilities.  Polk County Emergency Management has developed a network that links volunteer groups with those in need for debris clean up.  Initial priority will be given to the elderly and disabled.  If you are elderly or disabled and need assistance with debris clean up, please call 2-1-1.  After answering a few questions you will be connected with Crisis Cleanup to be put you on a list for assistance. Please keep in mind that the need is high and the wait for assistance may be longer than you would like.

FEMA Public Assistance Program

For cities, counties, school districts and certain private non-profits...

FEMA's Public Assistance program supports cities, counties, school districts and certain private-non-profit organizations recovering from disasters by providing them with grant assistance for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and restoring public infrastructure.

Hazard Mitigation

The State of Iowa will receive FEMA disaster funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) as part of Presidential disaster declaration DR-4557-IA (August 17, 2020) as a result of severe storms and flooding that occurred in our State this summer.


Project Types

The State is accepting Notice of Interests (NOIs) for those eligible hazard mitigation project types that will reduce or eliminate losses from future natural disasters, including but not limited to:

  • Priority #1 (category A) Property Acquisition/Elevation, electric utility hardening, detention basins, warning sirens. (See attached addendum for additional project types)
  • Priority #2 (category B) Elevate/protect wastewater lift stations, backup generators. (See attached addendum for additional project types)
  • Priority #3 (category C) Tornado Safe Rooms, small flood barriers. (See attached addendum for additional project types)


Eligible Applicant

Potentially eligible applicants include:

  • State agencies and local governments
  • Federally recognized Indian tribal governments, including State-recognized Indian tribes, and authorized tribal organizations
  • Private nonprofit (PNP) organizations or institutions that operate a PNP facility as defined in the 44 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 206.221(e).


The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires a FEMA approved local hazard mitigation plan prior to FEMA awarding HMGP project funds. Funding will be limited to sub-applicants with an approved local hazard mitigation plan at time of award.

Current Approved Polk Countywide Hazard Mitigation Plan may be found HERE.

Applicants with proposed projects located in a FEMA-identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are eligible for State funding only if the jurisdiction in which the project is located is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There is no NFIP participation requirement for projects located outside of the SFHA.

Cost Share:

This is a cost share grant program which means that awarded grants will be funded as follows:

  • Federal (FEMA) share of total eligible costs  – 75% maximum
  • Non Federal share of total eligible costs – 25%
    • State of Iowa – 10% (typical )
    • Local – 15%


Iowa Code 455B.262A [effective 6-30-2011]; State participation in funding financial assistance (10% State cost share) for a flood related disaster requires participation in the NFIP for a city or county with an effective FEMA published flood insurance map that identifies a SFHA. To determine NFIP participation please visit: http://www.fema.gov/cis/IA.html.


Notice of Interest (NOI) & Application Process

Applicants must complete the appropriate (project specific) NOI form located in the EMGrantsPro grants management system. The NOI forms can be found using the following link: http://www.iowahomelandsecurity.org/grants/HMA.html.

The State hazard mitigation staff will review NOIs using basic eligibility criteria for HMGP projects outlined in 44 CFR 206.434 (c), project type and level of interest in relation to acceptance of a greater local cost share. Invitations to complete a full HMGP project application will be sent to qualifying sub-applicants for both new NOI’s and previously submitted NOI’s where limited funding was available. Invitation letters will identify a State Mitigation Project Officer who will work directly with the applicant. This Project Officer will contact the applicant to discuss the proposed project, the application requirements, and be available to provide technical assistance during the application development process if needed.

For additional information or questions, feel free to contact a lead State Mitigation Project Officer:

Dusty Pogones – Deputy State Hazard Mitigation Officer                515-725-9384


Terry Brown – Acquisition/Relocation Projects:                               515-725-9371


Hanna Henscheid - Acquisition/Relocation Projects:                         515-725-9307


Mat Noble – Planning Projects:                                                          515-725-9404


Dan Schmitz – Infrastructure Projects:                                              515-725-9369 dan.schmitz@iowa.gov

Carol Tomb – Infrastructure Projects:                                                515-725-9305


Steve Oberbroeckling – Infrastructure Projects:                                 515-725-3214


Other Resources

Disaster Recovery Resources

DHS Disaster Assistance

Governor Kim Reynolds issued disaster proclamations for a number of counties affected by the recent derecho storm.  Visit the Iowa Department of Human Services' website regarding Food Assistance replacement, Iowa Individual Disaster Assistance Grant Program, Iowa Disaster Case Management, and Disaster Behavior Health Response.  

Community Action Agencies

Many community action agencies offer assistance such as food banks, food delivery initiatives, clothing, diapers, and other emergency and disaster relief needs. There is a network of 17 community action agencies that serves all of Iowa's 99 counties. To find a community action agency near you, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website.

211 Help Line  www.211iowa.org

211 provides support, resources, and referrals in the event of a disaster. Iowans may call 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431 to be connected to the help they need.   

For the English Language Learner Help Line, call 1-877-558-2609.   

For deaf and hard-of-hearing Iowans, dial 7-1-1 first for the Telecommunications Relay Service to reach the 2-1-1 hotline.

Mortgage/Rent Assistance

The Iowa Association of Realtors' grant is available to help individuals affected by the derecho storm with mortgage payment assistance or rental costs due to displacement up to $1,000 per applicant. Some scenarios for eligibility may include a homeowner with a mortgage that was displaced due to damage of their home; a homeowner with a mortgage living in their home without power due to the storm damage; a renter that was displaced due to damage of their apartment building.  

Free U-haul Self-Storage Units for 30 days

U-Haul facilities across the state are offering 30 days of free self-storage units and U-Box portable storage containers to residents affected by the derecho.  Find the locations offering this service by clicking here.

Volunteer Iowa

Many volunteer opportunities can be found on the state's Volunteer Iowa website.  For volunteer opportunities related to the derecho, click here.  Volunteers are advised to use health and safety measures.  

CDC Safety Tips

The CDC offers health and safety tips, including chainsaw precautions, when cleaning up after severe weather.  Use safety gear, pace yourself, and be careful of potential hazards. Clean Up Safety After a Disaster

Legal Assistance

Iowa Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization providing critical legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable Iowans who have nowhere else to turn.  Along with volunteer lawyers throughout the state, Iowa Legal Aid helps the legal system work for those who cannot afford help with legal issues.  Iowa Legal Aid closed approximately 15,000 cases in 2018, helping nearly 35,000 people, 15,000 of whom were children. Over 70% of the primary clients were women and 23% were seniors. Almost 32% reported having a disability.

The Iowa State Bar Association has a list of resources for legal assistance. Visit their website for locations and programs:  https://www.iowabar.org/page/LegalAssistance.

Iowa COVID-19 Legal Advice Hotline 1-800-332-0419  Iowans experiencing legal issues related to COVID-19, such as eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues or identity theft may call the hotline.  Callers can leave a message, and a representative will call them back. The hotline is a project of Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa State Bar Association, and the Polk County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Supplemental Unemployment Benefits

On August 14, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Iowa’s application to participate in the "Lost Wages Assistance" program for enhanced federal unemployment insurance benefits. Iowans whose unemployment is the result of the pandemic, and who are eligible for at least $100 in benefits per week, will qualify for an additional $300 in weekly benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1.  As FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor continue to issue guidance, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) will continue to develop the implementation and application processes. The IWD website will be updated as additional information becomes available, including timelines for application and payment.

The IWD website also contains a section on job openings and services for job seekers.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to Iowa Small Businesses

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small nonfarm businesses in 31 Iowa counties are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary counties that began Aug. 4, 2020.

Primary counties:  Adair, Audubon, Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Crawford, Dallas, Greene, Guthrie, Sac, Shelby and Webster;

Neighboring counties:  Adams, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Hamilton, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Madison, Monona, Montgomery, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Story, Union, Warren, Woodbury and Wright.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on Aug. 24, 2020.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for economic injury is April 26, 2021.