St. Clair, MO -- FEMA inspectors are examining residences and personal property damaged by the May 6 to 7 severe thunderstorms and flash flooding that swept through residences in Franklin, Jefferson, Crawford, Gasconade, St. Charles, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, St. Louis, Warren and Washington counties.
"You must apply for disaster assistance before inspectors will view your damaged property," said Federal Coordinating Officer Peter Martinasco.
Residents of those counties who experienced damage can apply by calling FEMA's toll-free registration number 1-800-462-9029 (TTY for hearing- or speech-impaired: 1-800-462-7585.) Operators are available to take calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT, seven days a week until further notice.
An inspector will determine the extent of damage to your house and whether it is habitable by checking the structure and the systems. Damage to major appliances, such as a washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, etc., will be assessed. Other serious needs, such as lost or damaged clothing, also are reported.
You should notify the FEMA inspector if your household is serviced by a private septic system and well.
Applicants should be prepared to show the inspector proof of ownership (owners) or proof of occupancy (owners and renters), to help determine eligibility. Insurance papers should be shown if they are available.
Disaster officials urge applicants to ask for proper identification before allowing unfamiliar persons claiming to be inspectors into their homes.
"These inspectors will have specific agency identification showing that they are in fact authorized to do an inspection," said Jerry Uhlmann, director of the State Emergency Management Agency. "Official inspectors will not be charging any fees to perform this service. Anyone charging fees should be reported to the nearest law enforcement agency."
More than one agency may be inspecting damaged property. FEMA generally schedules its inspections within five days of the time an applicant registers. Other agencies which may be looking at damages include the U.S. Small Business Administration , the American Red Cross and/or local building officials.