Who Can Help After a House Fire?

Who Can Help After a House Fire?
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After the fire is out and the lingering smoke clears, the loss of your property and disruption of your life remains. While many charitable organizations can and will step up to help you, there's a few simple steps that you can do to help yourself during these trying times.

Emergency Housing Providers

Generally, the fire department will contact the local emergency services organizations, such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army or United Way, to help you with emergency housing. While this only lasts a few days, you can also contact the United Way for assistance with housing deposits or first month's rental payments. Because housing assistance relies on donations, funding may be limited.

More Help

Among the organizations that may provide additional assistance as you recover from a house fire are local charities, religious organizations, community groups and crisis counselors. Your insurance agent and health provider can also help guide you through the paperwork needed for insurance and medical claims.

Release of Information Forms

To enhance communication between various organizations that may be helping you, sign release of information forms as soon as possible. Without your signature, they can't communicate with each other and coordinate the efforts to help you rebuild your life. With your permission, the primary agency assisting you can contact other agencies that specialize in counseling, housing services and coordinating donations of food, clothing and furniture.