Little Rock, AR -- Many inspectors are now in the field verifying damages to homes and businesses caused by the ice storms that began Dec. 12.
Disaster recovery officials advise applicants to ask for identification from anyone saying they are damage inspectors. All inspectors carry official photo identification. If an inspector is not wearing an identification card or badge, ask to see it.
Individuals who have applied for disaster assistance can expect to hear from several different inspectors within the coming weeks.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspectors generally will schedule an inspection within a week to 10 days to review damaged property and obtain more information about losses. The American Red Cross also may send inspectors to meet with disaster victims, and local building and safety inspectors may come to see if damaged structures are safe. The U.S. Small Business Administration will send loss verifiers to inspect damaged property of those who have submitted disaster loan applications.
If an inspector asking for access to your home cannot show you a photo ID, call your local law enforcement agency immediately.
The Presidential declaration makes available a wide range of federal disaster assistance programs. Financial assistance for those temporarily displaced by the ice storms could include low-interest loans to repair and replace real or personal property and grants to help meet essential disaster-related needs not covered by other assistance programs.
Individuals and business owners who believe they have suffered losses in the ice storms are urged to call FEMA's toll-free registration line at 800-462-9029 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day. The registration number for speech- and hearing-impaired individuals is 800-462-7585 (TTY).