Kokomo, IN - Every disaster has its share of con artists trying to take advantage of disaster victims, so be careful who you let into your home. If your house was damaged in the July storms and flooding and someone appears at your door claiming to be a damage inspector, ask for identification, urge officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Individuals who have applied for disaster assistance can expect to hear from several different inspectors within the coming weeks. FEMA inspectors generally will schedule an inspection within a week to 10 days to review damaged property and obtain more information about losses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will send loss verifiers to inspect damaged property of those who have submitted disaster loan applications.
These inspectors will be able to show you official identification to prove their identity. If an inspector asking for access to your home cannot show you a photo ID, do not let them into your home and call your local law enforcement agency. Damage inspectors do not recommend repairs or charge for their services.
Individuals and business owners who believe they have suffered losses from the storms, flooding and tornadoes in the designated counties are urged to call FEMA's toll-free registration line at
1-800-621-FEMA (3362), between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. The number for those with speech or hearing impairment should call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). The disaster declared counties include: Adams, Allen, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Delaware, Fountain, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Jay, Kosciusko, Madison, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Parke, Pulaski, Randolph, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Wells, White and Whitley.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.