TRENTON, N.J. -- Inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin damage assessments tours for homeowners and renters this weekend. Inspections are an important step in the recovery process, and will help speed disaster assistance to those affected by the severe flooding of the April 15-16 storm.
"We are working quickly to meet the needs of residents who have lost so much," said Federal Coordinating Officer Peter J. Martinasco. "When an inspector calls, the registrant can speed the assistance process by setting up an appointment for as soon as possible."
After residents register with FEMA, inspectors visit homes by appointment only. When the inspector calls, registrants should provide clear, accurate directions to the damaged property and a current telephone number where they can be reached. A street address is needed. Do not use a post office box address.
"All FEMA inspectors carry proper identification and you should ask to see it," said Lieutenant George Georgeles, Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. "If you have already begun cleanup or repairs to your home, show the inspector what you have done, and, if you have it, provide documentation of the work, such as photos, contractor estimates and receipts."
The FEMA inspection is free. It generally takes 30-40 minutes, and consists of inspecting all areas of the home and personal property. The inspector enters damage information into a hand-held computer and sends that data to FEMA. The inspector does not determine whether a registrant is eligible for assistance.
Homeowners, renters and business owners who had flood losses, and haven't registered yet, should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for disaster aid. To get assistance, you must register. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments should call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. , daily. You can also register online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA's Individual Assistance program provides grants for temporary housing, transportation expenses, moving and storage expenses, funeral, medical and dental expenses. In addition, individuals who complete an SBA loan application -- even if they do not own a small business - may be eligible for assistance that covers structural damage, personal property, vehicle repair or replacement. To find out whether you qualify, you must register.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.