Miami, FL -- Residents living in the Miami-Dade County area who were affected by the severe storms and tornadoes that occurred on March 27 may be waiting to have their homes inspected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or insurance companies.
After applying for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA registration number, 1 800-621-FEMA (3362), a FEMA inspector may contact you within five to seven days to schedule an appointment to inspect your home. An SBA loss verifier will schedule an appointment after SBA receives your completed loan application.
When the inspector calls, be sure to give clear, accurate directions to the damaged property and a current phone number where you can be reached. A street address is needed. Post office boxes do not show locations.
The damage inspection is part of the recovery process. FEMA inspectors, SBA loss verifiers and insurance adjusters are required to carry identification. If an inspector comes to your home, ask to see identification. You may see inspectors in your neighborhood. They are following schedules and can only inspect houses scheduled for inspections.
Applicants should be prepared to provide written confirmation of ownership, such as a tax receipt, deed, mortgage payment book or home insurance policy with the damaged property's address. Having the necessary documentation can help speed up the inspection process.
Owners and renters must show that the damaged property was their primary residence at the time of the disaster. Inspectors will accept a valid driver's license or current utility bill (such as an electric, gas or water bill) as proof of occupancy.
The inspection is free. It generally takes 30-40 minutes, and consists of inspecting all areas of your home and review of your records. The inspector enters information into an electronic device that sends the information to FEMA. This speeds up the process of providing assistance. The inspector does not determine whether an applicant is eligible for assistance.
"We are working quickly to meet the needs of those affected by the disaster," said Federal Coordinating Officer Justo Hernandez. "More than 18 FEMA housing inspectors are in the field, and we have already completed the inspection of more than 1,000 homes."