KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Individuals who have applied for state and federal disaster assistance may be contacted and visited by a damage inspector to verify losses, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"The inspections help us determine the amount of damages experienced by applicants and their eligibility. This allows us to assist them in the quickest and most efficient way possible," said Federal Coordinating Officer Lee Rosenberg, in charge of FEMA?s disaster recovery for the severe storms and flooding May 5-18. "Applicants can expect one or more different inspectors to visit and assess their damaged property. FEMA inspectors typically schedule appointments in less than seven days following an application."
The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sends loss verifiers to inspect the damaged property of those who have submitted completed loan applications. Verifiers will make an appointment as soon as a completed application is received, regardless of insurance settlement.
After calling FEMA?s toll-free registration line - 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585, or registering online at www.fema.gov ? applicants will receive a letter from FEMA explaining the process of applying for disaster aid.
Applicants will be asked to verify that they are owner-occupants or renters of the damaged property and that it is their primary residence. State and federal officials stress that under no circumstances will inspectors request money or any form of payment for their work.
"We are advising applicants to ask for identification from anyone claiming to be a damage inspector," said Ronald M. Reynolds, state coordinating officer. "All inspectors and verifiers carry official photo identification. If an inspector is not wearing identification, ask to see it."
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.