man assessing damage to his home man assessing damage to his home

Recovering from a Natural Disaster

Project Porchlight offers free assistance and support for survivors of natural disasters.

Disasters Create Unique Challenges

If you’ve ever been in the path of a natural disaster, you know firsthand the kind of chaos and widespread disruption these events can create for families and communities.

For many, the financial impact of a natural disaster can be devastating and long-lasting. Beyond property damage and the cost of repairs and improvements, there may be costs associated with:

  • Preparing your home and property in advance of a potential disaster
  • Finding temporary shelter if displaced from your home
  • Temporary or long-term loss of income

Many survivors of disasters are forced to dip into savings or fall into debt as they rebuild their lives and their homes. If you’ve experienced a loss of income due to the disaster, recovery is even more challenging.

Don’t Face Recovery Alone

Help is available for survivors of natural disasters, but accessing that aid can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone.

Project Porchlight from MMI is a free service for the survivors of natural disasters, designed to help you understand your options and successfully navigate the recovery process. Key features include:

  • Assistance with FEMA aid applications
  • Guidance through the insurance claims process
  • Personalized recovery plan
  • Regular check-ins and ongoing support from a trained counselor

Options Increase the Sooner You Start

Project Porchlight is not a Day 1 resource. Make sure you’ve addressed your basic needs first before worrying about your finances.

Once things are stable, however, you’ll want to connect with a Porchlight counselor quickly to maximize your options and give yourself the best chance at a fast, seamless recovery.

Call or submit a request today to begin your personal path to post-disaster recovery.

Post-Disaster Financial Recovery Counseling
Here’s What Happens
woman taking notes while talking on the phone

Project Porchlight is available for free to all families and individuals living in a county where federal or state-declared disaster has occurred.

The program begins with an initial consultation to assess your situation and understand your needs and goals. Your certified counselor will help you create a personalized recovery plan outlining the steps needed to return you to your unique version of “normal.”

You will then meet with your counselor each month for one year to review your progress and receive advice and support. Your counselor can help you complete applications for FEMA aid and submit relevant insurance claims.

Project Porchlight also provides specialized education for disaster survivors, as well as connectivity to other survivors through a moderated forum.

Frequently asked questions
Surviving a disaster can put you in a vulnerable position. That’s why it’s so important you get all the answers you need. If your question isn’t answered below, don’t hesitate to give us a call or submit a question through our appointment request form.
Is there a cost to use disaster recovery counseling?
Is there a cost to use disaster recovery counseling?
No. Thanks to a generous grant from a major foundation, Project Porchlight is provided to survivors at no cost to them, for a limited time.
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When should I connect with Project Porchlight?
When should I connect with Project Porchlight?
Your first priority should be safety and the welfare of your family. Once you’re safe and things are stable, please don’t hesitate to connect with a Project Porchlight counselor.
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How do I qualify for free disaster recovery counseling?
How do I qualify for free disaster recovery counseling?
Post-disaster counseling from Project Porchlight is available for free to families and individuals who live in a county where a disaster has been declared at the state or federal level.
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Do you offer disaster relief financial aid?
Do you offer disaster relief financial aid?
No. Project Porchlight is a program of MMI that supports disaster survivors through counseling, application assistance, creditor mediation, and resources or referrals, but we do not provide financial aid.
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How long does a typical counseling session last?
How long does a typical counseling session last?
The initial intake counseling session of anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. Monthly check-in coaching sessions can range from a few minutes up to an hour, depending on your needs.
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How do I access Project Porchlight's online learning portal?
How do I access Project Porchlight's online learning portal?
If you've already begun your counseling with a Porchlight counselor, you can use the account information provided to access the online learning portal found here.
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THEY'VE BEEN WHERE YOU ARE TODAY
  • This service was available at the right time for my situation. Without MMI my chances of recovery from an unforeseen financial difficulty would have been impossible to overcome. Thank you for being available to help when it’s needed most.
  • MMI has helped me to get my finances back in order after a 3 month period of unemployment. They were kind and patient and came up with a plan that I can live with. Thanks so much!!
  • MMI helped me through a very bad crisis, worked very well with lots of leniency towards my situation. Quick responses and great customer service.
  • I want to thank MMI for their courtesy and kindness and for their ability to help me with the crisis I have been going through.
  • MMI customer service is amazing. They are very caring and helpful. We would recommend them to anyone who needs financial counseling.
Experts Fighting for You
At Project Porchlight, our goal is simple: helping you get your life back to normal, one step at a time. If you’ve experienced financial hardship due to a disaster, this program was made for you.
  1. Innovative
    Project Porchlight is the first program of its kind, designed in response to the complex financial challenges created by recent natural disasters.
  2. Comprehensive
    The developers of Project Porchlight used extensive research and consumer feedback to create a program that gives disaster survivors the support they need most.
  3. Collaborative
    You create your vision for success, and we help you achieve it. Over the course of a year, we offer ongoing support, feedback, and resources to make your success a reality.
Michelle, a Project Porchlight counselor
  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.