DES MOINES, Iowa -- Officials urge insured Iowans who experienced losses due to recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding to contact their insurance agents to file claims as soon as possible. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HLSEM), FEMA must know the extent of an applicant’s homeowner’s and flood insurance coverage before making a determination about what assistance may be available through programs administered by the agency.
FEMA programs may be able to assist with uninsured and under-insured disaster-related losses. However, the agency does not duplicate or replace insurance coverage or pay insurance deductibles.
Officials advise insured applicants to call FEMA if any of the following situations occur:
- Their insurance settlement is delayed
- Their insurance settlement is insufficient to meet their disaster-related needs.
- They have exhausted the additional living expenses provided by their homeowner’s insurance.
- They are unable to locate rental resources in their area.
Insured applicants have up to 12 months from the date they register with FEMA to submit their insurance information for review.
Both insured and uninsured applicants who are not satisfied with FEMA’s decision about their assistance may file an appeal, explaining in writing why they feel FEMA’s decision is wrong. Appeals, which must be filed within 60 days following notification from FEMA, should be accompanied by any new or additional information that is available.
Insured applicants with information to report to FEMA may contact the agency at the toll-free number: 1-800-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired.
The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division was known as the Iowa Emergency Management Division until July 2003. The current name reflects the dual nature of the Division to provide programs and resources for both homeland security and emergency management efforts
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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.