Nashville, TN -- Inspectors are now visiting people who have registered for assistance to recover from the tornadoes and severe storms that struck Tennessee from November 9-12.
"The inspections help us establish the nature of the damages experienced by a disaster victim, which in turn allows us to make an eligibility determination and then quickly provide the assistance that is most appropriate to the individual's needs," said Gracia Szczech, federal coordinating officer.
One or more inspectors from different agencies may look at damaged property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) schedules inspections within seven days of registration to verify losses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) usually sends loss verifiers to inspect damaged property of those who have submitted completed loan applications. The American Red Cross may also send inspectors to meet with disaster victims, while local building and safety inspectors may come to see if damaged structures are safe.
"We are advising applicants to ask for identification from anyone claiming to be a damage inspector," said State Coordinating Officer John D. White Jr. "All inspectors and verifiers carry official photo identification. If an inspector is not wearing an identification card or badge, ask to see it."
Tennessee residents who suffered damages should call the FEMA toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362), which is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time, seven days a week until further notice. Those who are speech- or hearing- impaired can call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) to register.
The 20 Tennessee counties that have been declared eligible for assistance to individuals, households and businesses are Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Carroll, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Fentress, Gibson, Henderson, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Morgan, Roane, Rutherford, Scott, Sumner, Tipton and Van Buren.