DANBURY, Conn. -- Inspectors are now in the field visiting people who have registered for disaster assistance following Tropical Storm Floyd, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Connecticut Office of Emergency Management (OEM) officials said today.
"Inspections are required to verify claims and assess the extent and cost of damages," Federal Coordinating Officer Sharon Stoffel said. "Disaster assistance funds are taxpayer dollars, so it's important they be distributed properly."
Other agencies may also inspect storm-damaged property to verify losses for their own programs. For example, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) inspectors visit the damaged properties of those who have submitted completed loan applications. The American Red Cross may also send inspectors to meet with disaster victims, and local building and safety inspectors may come to see if damaged structures are still safe.
State Coordinating Officer John T. Wiltse advises people to ask for photo identification from anyone claiming to be a damage inspector. "If an inspector is not wearing an ID card or badge, ask to see it before allowing them access to your property," he said.
Renters, homeowners and business owners with storm-related damage and losses who have not already registered for assistance are encouraged to do so immediately by calling 1-800-462-9029, 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Both toll-free lines are open from 7 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week until further notice.