Clean Up Immediately, But Keep Records of Damages

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Release date: 
August 6, 2008
Release Number: 

McALLEN, Texas -- It's extremely important for residents of areas struck by Hurricane Dolly to keep careful records of repairs made after the storm. This is necessary for possible reimbursement in the future, whether or not the applicant is making an insurance claim. It is also important for any possible tax relief.

Officials from the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working under the President"s July 24 disaster declaration to help individuals and communities recover from Hurricane Dolly.

"Be careful to document what you've paid out and keep all your receipts," said State Coordinating Officer Frank Cantu. "As you are making repairs, be sure and keep a record of your expenses."

Residents of Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties who suffered uninsured or underinsured losses as a result of Hurricane Dolly are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance, which may include grants and low-interest disaster loans. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can offer loans to homeowners and renters, as well as business of all sizes and nonprofit organizations.

The way to apply is by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or if you have access to a computer, by going online at The number for applicants who have speech or hearing impairments is TTY 1-800-462-7585.

"We advise taking photos or videos of areas of your home and property that have been damaged by the storm," Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman said. ?"Photos and receipts also will help you show a FEMA inspector your losses."

Here are some other tips:

  • Keep a list of items that have been damaged or destroyed.

  • If you have insurance, call your insurance agent to report your claim. For flood insurance claims, the agent will prepare a Notice of Loss form, and an adjuster will be assigned to help you. If possible, photograph the outside and the inside of the damaged property, showing the flooding and damage.

  • Dispose of damaged property that presents a health hazard or that may hamper clean-up operations. Be sure to document fully all discarded items so that when the adjuster examines your losses and your records, these articles are included.

  • Compile a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods and include manufacturers' names, dates and places of purchase and prices, where possible. Try to locate receipts and proofs of purchase, especially for large appliances. Good records can speed settlement of your claim.

Whether or not you have experienced damage this time around, it is wise to purchase flood insurance. Information about the National Flood Insurance Program is available online at or by calling toll-free 1-888-379-9531.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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