Information for Those Affected by Natural Disasters

When natural disasters like floods, droughts, tornadoes, severe storms, and earthquakes strike, the damage can be overwhelming. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations can assist in many ways, such as unemployment assistance, guidance on building laws surrounding community restoration and injuries that result from reconstruction, and helping victims who may experience discrimination while relocating to a safer area.

How the Department can help:

Unemployment Assistance

Cleanup Safety Precautions

If you are part of cleanup efforts in disaster areas, make sure you are taking the proper safety precautions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has provided the following fact sheets that will help you stay safe during the cleanup and restoration process.

Find more state recovery resources at

Injuries on the Job While Rebuilding

If you are cleaning up debris for construction preparation or demolishing damaged structures, it could be considered as construction industry work. Construction crews should be covered by workers' compensation insurance coverage. In Missouri, all employers in the construction industry with one or more employees are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees (see Workers' Compensation Law). If you are injured on the job, visit our website to ensure you receive information about medical care and workers' compensation benefits. Be sure to take the first step and report your injury immediately to your supervisor. To find answers to the most frequently asked questions, visit our Division of Workers’ Compensation page.

Discrimination Protection

If you are forced to relocate or rebuild due to a natural disaster and experience discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodations, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) can help. Benefits and services available through state and federal disaster recovery assistance programs must be distributed to eligible persons without consideration of factors such as race, national origin or disability status. It is unlawful to be denied disaster aid for reporting discrimination. If you are discriminated against based on your race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age (in employment) or familial status (in housing), take the Complaint Assessment or call 573-751-3325 to begin the process of filing a complaint with MCHR. Don't let discrimination stop you from rebuilding your life.

Fair housing laws apply to nearly all forms of residences, for both sale or rent, including apartments, houses, mobile homes, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and even vacant lots to be used for housing.

Additional Resources

Individuals and families who sustained damage or losses due to a natural disaster can register for disaster assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week or by going online to

For more information about disaster response and recovery, visit the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has press releases and situation reports available online.

To find additional resources across the state, visit the Missouri Recovery Portal.