Richmond, KY -- Damage inspectors contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Small Business Administration are now contacting and visiting individuals who have applied for federal and state disaster assistance, the agency reports.
Through June 13, inspectors have completed 512 inspections in the 36 counties where individuals are eligible for disaster assistance.
"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 Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Butler.
Individuals can expect one or more inspectors to visit and assess their damaged property, the first usually scheduling an appointment within seven to 10 days following an application. 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 that 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.
"We always advise applicants to ask for identification from anyone saying they are damage inspectors," said Charles Winter, coordinating officer for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. "All inspectors and verifiers carry official photo identification. If an inspector is not wearing identification, ask to see it."
As a result of the floods and storms in Kentucky from May 4-27, a federal disaster was declared in 36 counties: Anderson, Boyd, Breckinridge, Boyle, Bullitt, Caldwell, Carter, Crittenden, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Garrard, Grayson, Greenup, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, Jessamine, Larue, Lewis, Lawrence, Madison, Mason, McLean, Meade, Mercer, Nelson, Owsley, Perry, Rowan, Union, Washington, Webster and Woodford.
Individuals may register for disaster assistance by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585.
So far, more than $1.5 million in grants and loans has been approved by FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.