April 15, 2024

Disaster Information




The Individual Assistance (IA) Program provides financial assistance up to $33,300 for FFY 2017 (dollar amount adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index) through grants to individuals and families who sustain damage or develop serious needs due to a Presidential declared disaster. Serious needs and necessary expenses include:

  • Housing
  • Personal Property
  • Transportation
  • Medical and Dental
  • Funeral

The grants do not need to be repaid and are provided only after verification of the serious needs and the necessary expenses cannot be met by insurance, another federal program or other sources of assistance. The program is not intended to provide for the purchase of non-essential, luxury or decorative items or return the recipient to his/her pre-disaster status.


Individual Assistance Links

Help After a Disaster: Applicant’s Guide to Individuals and Households Program



Public assistance includes supplemental financial resources to state, local governments and certain non-profit organizations for response and recovery activities required as a result of a disaster. Assistance can aid in the management of any natural disaster, which includes floods, tornadoes, winter storms, wildfires and many others.

If the county managing a disaster event determines it to be beyond its capability to manage, the county commission can request help from the state of South Dakota. The state will assist as needed and then work with local officials to assess damages and determine whether to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

Once a Presidential disaster is declared, the South Dakota Public Assistance Program is initiated. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants funds to the state of South Dakota to help rebuild damaged or destroyed publicly owned and certain private non-profit infrastructure and facilities to pre-disaster condition.


Qualifying for Public Assistance

To qualify for federal assistance, the state must document more than $1.261 million for FFY 2020 (dollar amount adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index) of damage to public infrastructure statewide, and the county must meet the current FEMA per capita dollar amount of damage.


Public Assistance Links

FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program

FEMA Public Assistance Program Overview

FEMA Presidential Declared Disasters


FEMA Forms & Handbooks

FEMA Schedule of Equipment Rates

2020 FEMA Public Assistance Guide


The SBA provides low-interest, long-term loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a Presidential declared disaster.


Five Situations for SBA Disaster Loans

SBA publishes notice of any disaster declaration in the Federal Register. The published notice will identify available assistance, the date, nature of the disaster, location for filing loan applications and the deadline. Policy is subject to change.


Presidential Declaration: Individual Assistance

The President declares a major disaster or declares an emergency and authorizes federal assistance, including individual assistance.


Presidential Declaration: Public Assistance Only

If the President declares a major disaster limited to public assistance only, a private non-profit facility (which provides non-critical services under guidelines of FEMA) must first apply to SBA for disaster loan assistance before it could seek grant assistance from FEMA.


Physical Disaster Declaration

The SBA makes a physical disaster declaration, based on the occurrence of at least a minimum amount of physical damage to buildings, machinery, equipment, inventory, homes and other property. Such damage usually must meet the following:

  • In any county or other smaller political subdivision of a state or U.S. possession, at least 25 homes or 25 businesses, or a combination of at least 25 homes, businesses or other eligible institutions, each sustain uninsured losses of 40% or more of the estimated fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value of the damaged property, whichever is lower;


  • In any such political subdivision, at least three businesses each sustain uninsured losses of 40% or more of the estimated fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value of the damaged property, whichever is lower, and, as a direct result of such physical damage, 25% or more of the work force in their community would be unemployed for at least 90 days.


Economic Injury Disaster Declaration: Secretary of Agriculture

SBA makes an economic injury disaster declaration in response to a determination of a natural disaster by the Secretary of Agriculture.


Economic Injury Declaration: State Certification

SBA makes an economic injury declaration in reliance on a state certification that at least five small business concerns in a disaster area have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster and are in need of financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms. The state certification must be signed by the Governor, must specify the county or counties or other political subdivision in which the disaster occurred, and must be delivered with supporting documentation to the Disaster Assistance Field Operations Center serving the jurisdiction within 120 days of the disaster occurrence.


SBA Disaster Loan Resources

Disaster Loan Program : Federal Code of Regulations

How are Disaster Declarations Made?



Disasters can happen quickly, with or without warning. But unlike a fast-striking emergency, recovering from a disaster is a gradual process.

Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it can make the process faster and less stressful.

Recovery Links & Resources

Recovering from Disaster

Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide