Luckily, I've never had the need to pursue FEMA assistance. But I've wondered about the process and how long it takes to receive benefits that will help recovery. I know that they help with shelters and stuff, but I'm more referring to the grants for damages, loans to rebuild, etc.
I'm on a team of FEMA/ATC qualified building inspectors that are available to assist in rapid evaluation of buildings after a disaster. Teams have been sent out after Katrina, Sandy, Sendai, etc. I haven't been out yet. Anyways, my impression was that FEMA seemed pretty well organized and put a lot of time and thought into their disaster recovery plans. However, the process also struck me of one that takes a long time.