LEBANON, Va. -- Residents of Lee, Russell and Tazewell counties in Virginia, who have applied for disaster assistance, can expect to have their homes inspected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"We are working quickly to meet the needs of those affected by the disaster," said Tom Davies, of FEMA. Davies leads the federal side of the recovery effort in his role as federal coordinating officer. "A visit by an inspector is one of the steps in the recovery process,” Davies said.
The first step is to apply for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA registration number 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. A FEMA inspector then will contact the applicant to schedule a home inspection.
“Always insist on seeing the inspector’s official FEMA identification,” Davies stressed. “The inspector’s badge will say ‘United States of America’ and have the person's photo and name. At the bottom is the FEMA seal and the ID's expiration date. An inspector will never ask for money and never use vehicles bearing FEMA logos.”
Residents should not give personal information to representatives from organizations that claim they will register disaster victims for FEMA assistance. No organizations are authorized to perform such a function. Registration can take place only by calling the toll-free number or by visiting a disaster recovery center.
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 mitigation activities, trains first responders and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.