What Happens After Calling FEMA?

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Release date: 
September 29, 2003
Release Number: 
1495-05

New Castle, DE - Assistance is only a phone call away, but what happens after disaster victims call the toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY: 1-800-462-7585)?

Callers are assigned a registration identification number for future reference in identifying their case. A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspector will telephone in a few days to make an appointment to visit the damaged home or apartment and assess the damage.

The following are points to remember during inspections:

  • All inspectors wear a current photo identification badge.
  • Clothing with names or insignias is not an indication they work for the agency.
  • All FEMA inspectors carry a hand-held computer. It has information about the person whose household they are inspecting in it.
  • The computer is only for FEMA programs. It has no other use to anyone else.
  • Inspectors do not determine any dollar amounts. They only look at reported damage and document it.
  • Inspectors do not carry money or ask for money.

FEMA can provide housing assistance, which may include lodging expense reimbursement, repair assistance and /or temporary rental assistance.

After you have taken the first step of the assistance process by calling the registration number, the Small Business Administration (SBA) may send you a loan application packet. It is very important to complete and return the SBA packet. If the SBA determines that you do not qualify for a loan, your name may be referred for a grant that includes Other Needs Assistance (ONA).

ONA may include medical, dental and funeral expenses; furniture, clothing and some appliances; vehicle costs (up to state limits); and other eligible expenses.

If you do not return the completed SBA application, you may not be considered eligible for certain types of assistance. Help in completing the SBA loan application is available at the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). Call the helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY: 1-800-462-7585), to find the location of the DRC nearest you.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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