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My Coast Guard
Commentary | July 13, 2023

Know where to turn

By AJ Pulkkinen, MyCG staff writer

As Coasties, you are often the first responders to natural disasters. But who do you turn to when it’s your house that was damaged? When homeowners or rental insurance isn’t enough, there are a couple great places to turn for help getting back on your feet. 

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) 

When disaster strikes, CGMA's initial objective is to quickly provide emergency assistance for evacuation and cash needed to meet basic living expenses such as food, shelter and clothing. CGMA uses modified procedures to provide rapid emergency assistance, including reducing paperwork and approval requirements. 

With few exceptions, everyone associated with the U.S. Coast Guard is eligible to request assistance. Eligible individuals need not have contributed to CGMA to receive assistance. 

CGMA is Coast Guard people helping Coast Guard people! It is a non-profit charitable organization established to provide financial aid to the entire Coast Guard family. While CGMA works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, it is an independent corporation. Its mission is to promote the financial stability and general well-being of Coast Guard people through interest-free loans, grants and financial counseling. 

In response to Super Typhoon Mawar, CGMA provided $288,000 in grants to 288 members and families who experienced property and food loss in Guam. 

The Coast Guard Foundation (CGF) 

The CGF assesses member and family needs through their emergency disaster relief program and offer immediate grants so you can bounce back from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and more.  

Coast Guard members, uniformed and civilian, are eligible for a grant of up to $3,000 to cover personal property loss and basic needs after a storm strikes. These needs include replacement and repair of household goods, purchasing food and necessities, insurance deductibles, temporary housing, and emergency travel. 

The CGF partners with the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) to deliver disaster relief as quickly as possible. Impacted members may apply online as soon as the storm has passed, and the CPOA will review and respond to your application within five days of receipt (although it’s typically much faster than that!). 

So far in 2023, the CGF activated emergency disaster relief program in response to atmospheric river storms in California, flooding in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida., Super Typhoon Mawar in Guam, and tornadoes in Mobile, Ala. 

Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) runs the DAIP to provide any disaster survivor with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private-sector partners. DAIP uses your responses to a quick questionnaire to compile disaster assistance that meets your needs and to offer access to 70 forms of assistance from 17 federal agencies. 


CGMA | Disaster Response 

Coast Guard Foundation | Emergency Disaster Relief for Coast Guard