What Is the SBA Disaster Relief Program, and How Does It Work?

Photo Courtesy: [David Howells/Getty Images]

The last thing anyone wants to think about is a natural disaster damaging their home or business. But as uncomfortable as it can feel to confront the potential destruction they cause, it’s important to think about them in advance — and prepare as best as possible — because they're growing in frequency and intensity.

The United States' Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and the Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30. Furthermore, 10.1 million acres of land in the United States were destroyed by wildfires in 2020. Meteorologists expect that 2021's wildfire season — a time of year that typically lasts from May to October — will exceed that number.

Even with the best preparations, disaster can still strike. If you, your family or your business are impacted by a natural disaster, it helps to know there are various forms of assistance available from a potentially unexpected agency: the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Here's an introduction to the types of assistance available, including details about who can apply and how you can make claims for the support you need.