IAFF Disaster Program: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the name of the program?
- The IAFF Disaster Relief Program provides assistance to IAFF members in the United States and Canada who suffer financial hardship as the result of a federally declared disaster area or in cases of natural or man-made disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires or civil disturbances.
When was it created?
- Created in 1993 as a nonprofit, tax exempt, trust fund affiliated with the IAFF, the Disaster Relief Program provides immediate cash to IAFF members in time of greatest need. The Program was established after the IAFF and local affiliates throughout Florida provided assistance to its members following the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
How does it help IAFF members?
- Disbursements are only offered to IAFF members suffering a catastrophic loss with resulting financial hardship following such a disaster and are not granted to cover costs to perform building or property repairs, renovation or construction. A member is only eligible for assistance if he or she is displaced from his/her home because of the disaster. Disbursements are only allowed for immediate housing, food, medical supplies and services, clothing and other similar disaster relief. The maximum amount of any grant is $500.00 for any single disaster occurrence.
How did the Fund assist IAFF members during the past years?
- After hurricanes Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne caused widespread damage in 2004; the Fund disbursed more than $215,000 to 347 IAFF members in Florida and Alabama who were displaced by the storms. After hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, the Fund disbursed more than $1,750,000 to IAFF members in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida who were displaced by the storms. Additionally the IAFF assisted over 45 local affiliates and their 5,000 members in the disaster area, and provided incident command staff, communications, evacuation, food, medicine (including vaccinations and baseline medical evaluations), behavioral health and counseling, building materials, crews fro house repairs, transportation, and housing support. The Fund provided over $500,000 for these efforts. During 2008, the Fund provided $96,000 in disaster relief, most to members after hurricane Ike. In 2010, $24,500 has been provided, most to flood and tornado events. In 2011, $43,000 has been provided to date.
What are the eligibility criteria for a grant?
- Disaster Relief Grants may be awarded for the purpose of providing cash for temporary emergency expenses for IAFF members who suffer financial hardship in a U.S. or Canadian federally declared disaster area or in cases of natural or man-made disaster including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, fires, drought, or civil disturbances as determined by the Relief Fund Trustees.
- Disbursement from the fund are only made available to IAFF members suffering a catastrophic loss with resulting financial hardship following such a disaster and are not granted to cover costs to perform building or property repairs, renovation or construction. Such disbursements are only granted for immediate housing, food, medical supplies and services, clothing and other similar disaster relief.
- The maximum amount of any grant is $500 for any single disaster occurrence. Multiple awards to IAFF members residing in the same household which exceed the above-mentioned dollar limitations are not granted. For example, if both the husband and wife are IAFF members, they are only collectively eligible to receive a grant of up to $500 for a single disaster occurrence.
What are the member eligibility requirements?
- The applicant must be a current IAFF member at the time the disaster occurred.
- The member must reside in the area which has been declared a disaster by the U.S. or Canadian government or by a majority of the Trustees.
- The member’s eligibility is based solely on need as determined by a majority of the Trustees.
- A member is only eligible for assistance if he or she is displaced from his/her home because of the disaster.
III. What is the application process for a grant?
- A Disaster Relief Grant application form is available from your District Vice President or it may be obtained by contacting the IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine at 202-824-1571 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All applications for relief must be submitted within 14 days from the date of the disaster using the IAFF Disaster Relief Application Form.
- All applications are be made through the IAFF member’s Local Affiliate President. The IAFF Local Affiliate President is responsible for verifying the accuracy of the member’s claim for a disaster relief grant.
- All applications for disaster relief grants should be sent to the IAFF District Vice President where the disaster occurred or directly to:
IAFF Disaster Relief Fund
c/o Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine
International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
What is the grant disbursement process?
- Upon receipt of the completed application; and after declaration by the Trustees of a disaster and verification of the member’s need, the Chairman will issue a grant to the member. Relief fund grant checks are usually distributed to individual members in the most direct and expeditious manner taking into account the instructions of the individual member involved. If specific instructions are not provided, the grant check is immediately sent to the local union president for presentation to the member.
How can you contribute money to the Fund?
- The IAFF Disaster Relief Program falls under the IAFF Foundation which is a 501 (c) (3) Trust Fund and tax deductible contributions can be sent to:
Disaster Relief Fund
1750 New York Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20006