Mesa, AZ -- The State of Arizona and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials advise caution when using a federal or state issued check for damages or losses related to the Rodeo-Chediski fire.
"It's important that people carefully read the letters that accompany assistance checks," Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management, Michael P. Austin said. "It gives them detailed information on how to use their assistance check." A check may come from one of three sources:
1. U.S. Treasury check- Issued from FEMA for disaster housing, the check is intended for only one of two uses: for basic housing repairs or short-term rental assistance.
A FEMA housing check for repairs is intended to return the home to a safe and habitable condition.
A check for short-term housing assistance is based on the fair market rates in the affected area. Applicants who must remain in temporary housing for a longer period than the check covers may request more assistance until their home can be re-occupied or other permanent housing arrangements can be made.
2. Individual and Family Grant (IFG) check-Issued from the Arizona Division of Emergency Management, IFG provides funds for the necessary expenses and serious needs of disaster victims that cannot be met through other forms of disaster assistance or through insurance. Items may include clothing, simple furnishings and reimbursement for uninsured emergency medical care or home repairs.
The Arizona Division of Emergency Management will send a letter to the applicant before the applicant receives the check indicating the amount the applicant will receive and the conditions of the grant money.
3. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) check-Issued from SBA, it is a low-interest loan to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster damages to real estate or personal property. It may also be a low-interest loan to businesses of all sizes, to repair or replace disaster damages to property owned by the business. This may include real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and supplies, and working capital to small businesses.
To report fraud, waste or abuse in FEMA programs call toll free 1-800-323-8603.
Those who still have not registered with FEMA or have questions may call the toll-free FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585.