Greeneville, TN -- Individuals who have already applied for federal and state disaster assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) hotline - 1-800-462-9029 - can expect to be contacted and will be visited by a damage inspector to verify losses according to Gracia Szczech, the federal official in charge of disaster recovery.
"The inspections help us determine the amount of damage experienced by an applicant and their eligibility, which allows us to assist them in the quickest and most efficient way possible," said Szczech.
Individuals can expect one or more different inspectors to visit and assess their damaged property. FEMA housing inspectors will usually schedule appointments within 7-10 days following an application for assistance. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sends loss verifiers to inspect damaged property of those who have submitted a completed loan application.
Applicants will be asked to verify they own or occupy the damaged property, and that it is their primary residence. Federal and state officials stress that under no circumstances will inspectors request money or any form of payment for their work.
John D. White Jr., state coordinating officer, added, "We are advising applicants to ask for identification from everyone saying they are damage inspectors. All inspectors and verifiers carry official photo identification. If an inspector is not wearing identification, ask to see it."
Individuals who have not done so yet should call the toll-free hotline, 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing impaired. That is the only way to start the process of disaster recovery.