It may take many months before some victims of massive flooding due to hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey can return to their homes and businesses. The unprecedented heavy rains have already resulted in the deaths of at least seven people in Puerto Rico, where the entire island is also without electricity. It has forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. government data shows that fewer than 1 percent of Puerto Rico’s housing units have coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program, the dominant seller to homeowners in the mainland. The article points out that homeowners in Puerto Rico spent more on private-sector flood insurance in 2016 than on government insurance, according to A.M. Best.

Nationwide, only about 12 percent of homeowners have flood insurance policies, according to the Insurance Information Institute (PDF). Flooding is typically not covered by traditional homeowners or renters insurance

But even those who don’t have flood insurance can take steps to get financial help.

Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

President Donald Trump’s disaster declarations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with the disaster-relief packages he signed for the states of Texas and Florida, mean disaster aid will be available

You could be eligible for a federal grant to be used toward temporary housing, emergency home repairs, and other urgent measures. Both homeowners and renters are eligible. You can register for federal disaster assistance or call 800-621-3362.

Here’s what could be available to residents of affected areas, depending on where you live:

• Rental payments for temporary housing. Homeowners whose homes are deemed unlivable can get initial financial assistance for up to three months; renters can get help for at least one month. That financial assistance may be extended after the initial period on a case-by-case basis.

• Grants to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary, and functional. The money can go toward home repairs and replacement of essential items that insurance doesn’t cover.

• Grants to replace personal property. These funds are meant to meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation, and other “serious disaster-related needs” not covered by insurance, charity, or other government programs, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

• Low-interest loans. The loans, provided by the Small Business Administration for residential losses not covered by insurance, are available up to $200,000 for primary residences and $40,000 for personal property, including losses by renters. Interest on the loans will be as low as 1.75 percent annually, for up to a 30-year period, the SBA says. Other SBA loans are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private not-for-profit organizations.

More on Flood and Homeowners Insurance

Extended tax deadlines. The IRS has announced that the Oct. 16 deadline to file federal tax extensions has been changed to Jan. 31, 2018, for residents in federally declared disaster areas. (Interest and penalties on unpaid balances, however, will still accrue if you didn’t pay in full in April.) Self-employed and retired taxpayers in the disaster zone, who normally would pay quarterly estimated taxes in mid-September 2017 and mid-January 2018, now have until Jan. 31, 2018, to make both of those payments.

Other help. On its website FEMA mentions other help, including crisis counseling; help filing casualty losses for income tax breaks; and advice on legal matters, veterans benefits, and Social Security concerns. 

Get an Extra Boost From Flood Insurance

Those holding flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program have yet another potential avenue to get funds quickly. They can apply with the insurer that provided their flood policy for an advance payment even before an adjuster comes out to investigate the flood damage to their property.

FEMA, which runs the NFIP, encourages the insurance companies that service its flood policies to begin providing flood insurance policyholders with advance payments shortly after a disaster strikes.

Historically, advance payments prior to the adjuster’s investigation of the loss have been up to $5,000 for a policyholder’s building and the building’s contents. To qualify you’ll have to have at least that much flood coverage. You’ll later need to prove you had flood losses at least that high. 

After flooding in Louisiana last August, FEMA recommended advance payments of up to $5,000 toward fixing home damage and replacing home contents. (If policyholders provided photographs depicting the flood damage and documentation validating out-of-pocket expenses, they could get an advance payment of up to $10,000.)

Policyholders may be able to get those funds even before they submit documents showing what they lost. They can also get up to 50 percent of their claim paid out after an adjuster’s inspection but before a proof-of-loss document is signed, according to FEMA.

Keep in mind that the payouts you may get from federal disaster assistance are for losses that aren’t covered by your flood insurance policy.

Traditional homeowners and renters policies do not cover damage from flooding. Victims without flood coverage, either from the federal government or private insurers, will have to rely on their own savings—and on federal, state, and charitable funding—to recover and rebuild. Flood insurance is not just for people in high-risk areas. 

FEMA says people outside of high-risk areas file more than 20 percent of flood insurance claims in a given year and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding.