You may be thousands of miles from recent floods, hurricanes and wildfires, but there’s no guarantee the next natural disaster, or the one after that, won’t hit close to home.

There are specific steps homeowners with VA-backed loans should take if their dwelling is affected by any type of disaster. The full list is available at the VA website (PDF), but here are the high points:

1. First step: FEMA. VA loan or no, it’s imperative to register for disaster assistance via the Federal Emergency Management Agency before any deadlines expire. Check FEMA.gov for full details.

2. VA-specific help. Individuals whose homes were modified through VA’s Specially Adapted Housing program may qualify for grants to help cover repair costs. Those who may have trouble covering their mortgage payments as a result of the disaster also may be eligible for aid. Members of both groups can call 877-827-3702 for information.

3. Address changes. If you’ve been forced out of your home for any substantial period, tell your regional VA office to ensure benefit checks and other information will reach you (in addition to notifying the post office).

4. Paperwork update. If the property you intend to buy with your VA loan was appraised prior to the disaster, but the loan hasn’t closed, your lender will need to update the VA guaranty request. Details are here. Loans that closed prior to the disaster declaration aren’t affected.

Get more disaster-preparation advice from Military Times here.