AER Allocates $1 Million in Grants Towards Natural Disaster Assistance

The Army Emergency Relief is allocating $1 million in grants toward natural disaster relief this hurricane season. With thousands of active-duty and retired Soldiers living in areas exposed to natural disaster risks, AER is providing assistance directly to Soldiers who may be in harm’s way.

Hurricane season, spanning May through October, impacts families across the country. Cities like Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, Charlotte, and Houston are found to be at the greatest risk for hurricanes while maintaining the highest population of Soldiers – active and retired.

Over the last 20 years, hurricanes like Matthew, Irma, Harvey, and Katrina have devastated cities along the coasts. Specifically, Hurricane Harvey resulted in over 100 thousand Gulf Coast veterans applying for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Agency and 60 percent of veterans surveyed had received damage to their house and their belongings, according to January Advisors. In total, 13 million people were impacted across Texas and Louisiana —including 510 thousand veterans and 115 VA clinics.

Financial hardships faced by those who have suffered from natural disasters may be devastating. Often, natural disasters leave families without a home or car and, at times, can even result in injuries. In 2020 alone, AER assisted nearly six thousand Soldiers and their Families for disaster relief and emergencies, providing zero-interest loans and grants to cover costs ranging from home repairs to evacuation assistance.

This year, AER is providing further assistance by allocating $1 million in grants towards natural disaster assistance – and may even provide more if the need arises. The main goal is to relieve the financial burden amongst Soldiers and retired Soldiers who have been impacted by any type of natural disaster or emergency.

Our Natural Disaster assistance program covers a wide range of needs from preparation to evacuation. We highly recommend asking your Chain of Command or an AER officer if you have needs as a result of a natural disaster or emergency and aren’t sure if it’s covered by our program.

Who’s Eligible:

  • Active-Duty Soldiers (& Family)
  • Retired Soldiers (Longevity or Medically) (& Family)
  • Surviving Spouses & Children
  • Title 10 ARNG & USAR activated for more than 30 consecutive days (& Family)
  • Title 10, Title 32, or TPU ARNG & USAR not activated or activated for less than 30 consecutive days (& Family)
  • Title 10, Title 32, or TPU ARNG & USAR activated in response to winter storms (& Family)

Eligible Soldiers may include Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers of whom AER often waves eligibility requirements during times of natural disaster or emergencies.

How to Request Assistance:

To apply or learn more, Soldiers should contact their local AER officer or, in the event a local office is inaccessible or located further than 50 miles away, the American Red Cross is authorized to process the assistance request (1-877-272-7337).

Use our Office Locator tool to find your nearest AER Office.

Learn more about our Natural Disaster Assistance programs with our Chief of Loan Management, SGM (R) Bill Hagzan!